Selectors to speak with Kohli over return for ENG Tests after De Villiers remark | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Virat will play if...': Selectors to speak with Kohli over return for England Tests after AB de Villiers revelation

Feb 04, 2024 06:10 AM IST

Reports have indicated that the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee are slated to have a word with Kohli about his plans at the earliest.

The speculations over the "personal reason" behind Virat Kohli's absence from the first two Test matches against England ended on Saturday after close friend and former South Africa captain AB de Villiers revealed that the India star and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting their second child. The revelation soon sparked questions over whether Kohli would return for the remaining three Test matches against Ben Stokes' men. Reports later in the evening indicated that the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee are slated to have a word with the former India captain about his plans at the earliest.

Will Virat Kohli return to action in England Test series?
Will Virat Kohli return to action in England Test series?

On January 22, three days before the start of the opening Test match against England, Kohli withdrew himself from the matches in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. BCCI later released a statement saying that Kohli spoke to India captain Rohit Sharma and the team management, where he emphasised that "while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention."

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Speaking in a Q&A session on his YouTube channel during India's second Test against England in Vizag, De Villiers, responding to a fan question, revealed that the personal reason for which Kohli opted out of the England series is the impending arrival of his second child.

"Yes, his second child is on the way. 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. Yes, we miss him. But he has made absolutely the right decision," said De Villiers.

With the second Test nearing its end, where India have taken a healthy lead of 171 runs after folding England for 253, BCCI's top brass are eager to know about Kohli's intentions to be part of the remainder of the series with the selectors slated to announce the squad for the last three matches soon.

According to a report on PTI, selection committee chairman Ajit Agarkar or some of the top officials from the board will have a word with Kohli, who is presently out of the country, to get a clear picture and find out whether he is in a position to resume national duty.

"Family comes first as BCCI's press release stated and Virat will only play if he feels that he is in a position to play," a BCCI source in know of things told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The third Test match will begin on February 15 in Rajkot.

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