No Virat Kohli in India's first 2 Tests vs England; BCCI to name replacement | Cricket - Hindustan Times

No Virat Kohli for India in first 2 Tests against Ben Stokes' England; BCCI to name replacement soon

Jan 22, 2024 07:28 PM IST

Former India skipper Virat Kohli has withdrawn from the first two Tests against England. The BCCI will announce Kohli's replacement soon.

Rohit Sharma's Team India will miss the services of batting icon Virat Kohli for the first two Tests of the high-profile five-match series against England. Days after returning to the T20I format in the Afghanistan series at home, Kohli, on Monday, pulled out of India’s upcoming red-ball assignment citing personal reasons. The former World No.1 batter will miss the first two Tests in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. The first Test is set to begin on Thursday.

 Virat Kohli has withdrawn from the first two Tests against England.(PTI)
Virat Kohli has withdrawn from the first two Tests against England.(PTI)

Confirming Kohli's exit from the Indian squad in the lead-up to the Test series, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) extended its support to the former India skipper. “Virat Kohli has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to be withdrawn from the first two Tests of the upcoming IDFC First Bank Test series against England, citing personal reasons,” BCCI said in an official statement.

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It also added that Kohli spoke to skipper Rohit, the team management and members of the selection committee before taking this decision.

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'Virat Kohli has spoken to captain Rohit Sharma'

"Virat has spoken to Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management and the selectors and has emphasised that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention. The BCCI respects his decision and the Board and team management has extended its support to the star batter and is confident in the abilities of the remaining squad members to step up and deliver commendable performances in the Test series," the BCCI said in a statement.

Who will replace Virat Kohli?

BCCI has confirmed that Team India will announce Kohli's replacement soon. Kohli has played 113 Test matches for India. Averaging 49.16, the 35-year-old has amassed 8,848 runs for the Asian giants in 191 Test innings. The former India skipper has smashed 29 centuries and 30 half-centuries in the longest format of the game.

In India's previous Test series against South Africa, Kohli was the leading run-getter for the visitors. India defeated the Proteas at Cape Town for the first time to level the two-match series 1-1. There is no confirmation on whether Kohli will be available for selection from the 3rd Test onwards, which will be contested at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on February 15.

Earlier, England's Harry Brook also withdrew from the India Test series for personal reasons. Meanwhile, The Indian team held their first practice session on Monday around 9:30 am at The Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.

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