Virat Kohli withdraws from first two Tests citing personal reasons


Monday, 22 January 2024 (17:15 IST)
Mumbai: India's star batter Virat Kohli will not be available for the first two Tests against England.
Virat Kohli has requested to be withdrawn from the squad for the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed in their statement.
The selection committee will name a replacement in due course for Kohli.
The release further stated that Kohli spoke to captain Rohit Sharma, the team management and the selectors before making his decision.
"He emphasized that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention," the statement said.
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 also requested the media and fans for privacy on the matter and to refrain from speculation.
Kohli recently featured for India in the Test series against South Africa, which they came from behind to draw 1-1. Following the series, he was absent for the first T20I against Afghanistan at home due to personal reasons but returned for the remaining two games.
The five-match series between the two teams begins on January 25 in Hyderabad before the action moves to Visakhapatnam for the second game. Kohli was initially named in the squad announced for the first two games on January 12.
BCCI is yet to name the squad for the remaining three Tests.
Squad for first two Tests vs England: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, KS Bharat, Dhruv Jurel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Avesh Khan.
The series is a part of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 where India currently sit second on the table behind leaders Australia.

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