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Kohli to Miss Opening Tests for Personal Causes

The BCCI said on Monday that Virat Kohli would not be playing in India’s first two Tests against England because of personal matters. They also said that Kohli’s replacement would be named soon.

“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,” a statement from the board said.

Kohli reached Hyderabad, the venue of the first of five Tests, on Sunday, but did not attend India’s optional training session on Monday.

After India’s 1-1 draw in South Africa, Kohli missed the first T20I at home against Afghanistan for personal reasons before returning for the following two matches.

Kohli returned to India and missed the three-day intra-squad match before the two Tests in South Africa while resting.

Potential Replacements

The BCCI has not named a replacement, but Cheteshwar Pujara, Rajat Patidar, Abhimanyu Easwaran, and Sarfaraz Khan are popular.

Pujara last played for India in the World Test Championship (WTC) final last year, but he started this year’s Ranji Trophy with an undefeated double-century against Jharkhand before scoring three 40s and a half-century in his following two games.

Patidar and Sarfaraz impressed for India A against the touring England Lions. Patidar struck centuries in the tour game and the first unofficial Test, while Sarfaraz scored half-centuries, including 96 in the tour game.

Wicketkeeping Choices

Abhimanyu took over as India’s reserve opener for the Tests in South Africa when Ruturaj Gaikwad got hurt. He is now captaining India A.

Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill are India’s other middle-order batters, and KL Rahul can also play as a straight batter if needed. Rahul, KS Bharat, and Dhruv Jurel are all in the running to be wicketkeepers.

Kohli became the second player in as many days to opt out of part or all of the series, after Harry Brook withdrew from the entire tour on Sunday, also because of personal reasons. It is, however, understood that he can rejoin the England touring party on a later date.

The five-match series against England will begin in Hyderabad on January 25 and will be part of the WTC. India are currently second on the WTC points table, behind defending champions Australia.

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    January 23, 2024 at 7:19 am

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    January 23, 2024 at 7:26 am

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  3. Rony

    January 23, 2024 at 7:34 am

    y wont Virat play?

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    January 23, 2024 at 8:30 am

    eagerly waiting what will happen next

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