BCCI Announces Kohli’s Absence: Indian Captain to Miss Opening Matches Against England

In a significant development, Virat Kohli pulls out of the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons. The BCCI expresses support for Kohli’s decision and gears up for a replacement announcement.

Virat Kohli Withdraws from First Two Tests Against England

Three days ahead of the five-match Test series against England at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, India faces a significant setback as Virat Kohli, their talismanic batter, has opted out of the first two matches due to personal reasons.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Kohli’s withdrawal and mentioned that a replacement would soon be named by the selection committee. Kohli, after discussing with Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management, and the selectors, expressed that personal situations require his undivided attention.

While emphasizing that representing the country remains Kohli’s top priority, the BCCI respects his decision and extends support to the star batter. The board is confident in the abilities of the remaining squad members to step up and deliver commendable performances in the Test series.

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The BCCI urged the media and fans to respect Kohli’s privacy during this time and refrained from speculating on the nature of his reasons. The focus should remain on supporting the Indian cricket team as they face upcoming challenges in the Test series.

Virat Kohli played in India’s last Test series against South Africa, ending in a 1-1 draw. He missed the first T20I against Afghanistan earlier this month due to personal reasons but played in the last two matches of the series.

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In Kohli’s absence for the first two matches, India will heavily rely on middle-order batters Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer. KL Rahul, named as a wicketkeeper-batter, can also serve as a specialist batting option. KS Bharat and Dhruv Jurel are contenders for the wicketkeeper’s spot.

England also faced a setback as middle-order batter Harry Brook withdrew from the tour due to personal reasons. Dan Lawrence was announced as Brook’s replacement in the touring party.

The series between India and England will commence in Hyderabad on January 25, followed by matches in Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Ranchi, and Dharamshala. India is currently at the second place on the 2023-2025 World Test Championship points table, while England holds the eighth position.