Virat Kohli's reason for absence from England Tests revealed by AB de Villiers | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Virat Kohli's reason for absence from England Tests revealed by AB de Villiers

Feb 03, 2024 09:55 PM IST

Virat Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their second child.

Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers, on Saturday, revealed the true reason behind Virat Kohli missing the first two Test matches against England, saying that the India star and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their second child. Kohli was initially part of the squad named for the opening two Tests, but pulled out of both the games before the start of the Hyderabad tie, citing personal reasons.

India's Virat Kohli during a practice session (PTI)
India's Virat Kohli during a practice session (PTI)

De Villiers made the big revelation during a Q&A session on his YouTube channel, where one of his fans asked him if he checked with Kohli after he withdrew from the first two Tests against England and whether he would be back for the final three matches.

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"All I know is he is fine. He is spending a bit of time with his family, that is the reason he is missing the first two Test matches. I am not going to confirm anything else. I cannot wait to see him back. He is fine, he is doing well," the former Royal Challengers Bangalore batter said.

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In a bid to give more clarity over his revelation, De Villiers began reading his text message exchange with Kohli, which is when he confirmed that the former India captain and his wife Anushka are expecting their second child.

"Let me just see what he said. I just want to at least give you a little bit of love," he added. "So I wrote to him 'Been wanting to check in with you for a while now biscuits. How are you?'. He said 'Just need to be with my family right now. I am doing well'.

“Yes, his second child is on the way. Yes, it's family time and things are important to him. If you are not true and genuine to yourself, you lose track of what you are here for. I think most people's priority is family. You can't judge Virat for that.”

It was three days before the start of the first Test against Ben Stokes' men when Kohli decided to pull out of the contest in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. According to the BCCI release, Kohli had a word with India captain Rohit Sharma and the team management, saying that while representing his country remains his top priority, he had to give "undivided attention" to personal situations at present.

"Virat has spoken to Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management and the selectors and has emphasized that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention," the statement read.

The Indian cricket board urged fans and media to not engage in speculations over Kohli's absence as Rajat Patidar was named as his replacement for the first two Tests.

"The BCCI requests the media and fans to respect Virat Kohli's privacy during this time and refrain from speculating on the nature of his personal reasons. The focus should remain on supporting the Indian cricket team as they embark on the upcoming challenges in the Test series," the detailed board statement added.

De Villiers did not specify if Kohli will return for the final three matches against England.

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