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Virat Kohli Withdraws from First Two Tests Against England
Virat Kohli Withdraws from First Two Tests Against England: Star Indian batsman Virat Kohli has opted out of the first two Tests against England, citing personal reasons, a decision that caught the cricketing world by surprise. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made the announcement just two days ahead of the series opener.
BCCI Statement Confirms Kohli’s Withdrawal
In a statement, the BCCI revealed that Virat Kohli had formally requested to be withdrawn from the first two Tests of the upcoming series. The board acknowledged Kohli’s commitment to representing the country but respected his decision, citing certain personal situations that demand his undivided attention.
The former captain communicated his decision to Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management, and the selectors. Kohli emphasized that while playing for the country has always been his top priority, personal circumstances require his immediate presence and focus.
The BCCI appealed to 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, according to the statement, should remain on supporting the Indian cricket team as they embark on the upcoming challenges in the Test series.
Previous Instances of Breaks For Kohli
Virat Kohli Withdraws from First Two Tests Against England: This is not the first time Kohli has taken a break from international cricket. Notably, during the tour of Australia in 2020-21, he left after the first Test to be with his expecting wife. In 2022, Kohli took a break to focus on his mental health, returning revitalized and in prolific form with the bat.
Ind Vs Eng 1st Test: Contingency Planning
With the first Test scheduled to begin in Hyderabad on Thursday, Kohli’s unexpected withdrawal necessitates some contingency planning. The BCCI expressed confidence in the remaining squad members to step up and deliver commendable performances in the Test series.
Wicketkeeper KS Bharat And Dhruv Jurel
The Men’s Selection Committee will soon announce a replacement for Kohli. While wicketkeepers KS Bharat and Dhruv Jurel are designated as spare batsmen in the 16-man squad, the selectors may need to explore options from outside the current group for a like-for-like replacement.
Given the spin-friendly pitches expected for the Tests against England, the playing XI faces uncertainties, especially with the question of who will take up the wicketkeeping duties between KL Rahul and KS Bharat. The opening pair is slated to be Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal, with Shubman Gill at No.3. The middle-order composition, especially Kohli’s No.4 position, remains to be decided.
India Vs England Test Series 2024: Replacement Options Considered
The selectors may consider recent form while deciding on a replacement. Players like Rajat Patidar, who showcased good form in domestic cricket, and Sarfaraz Khan, known for his ability against spin, are potential options. Additionally, the experienced Cheteshwar Pujara, with a consistent record in first-class cricket, remains a trusted choice for the selectors.