India will continue to miss the services of Virat Kohli for at least one more Test match against England, but his chances of appearing in the fourth and fifth Test, too, are very slim. He has not yet informed the BCCI selectors and management of his availability, a board official has now revealed.
Virat Kohli is reportedly in London right now for a family emergency. The 35-year-old had trained in Hyderabad but pulled out from the first two Tests, in Hyderabad and Vizag, citing personal reasons. He then flew to London.
The BCCI selectors are set to announce the squad for the next three Tests on either Thursday or Friday. On Wednesday evening, ESPNcricinfo reported that Kohli would miss the 3rd and 4th Tests, while the Indian Express, on Thursday morning, reported that Kohli is certain to miss the third Test. There is no official confirmation from the BCCI, although a source has said that the batsman has not communicated his decision yet.
“Virat will decide when he wants to make a comeback to the Indian side. He hasn’t informed us till now but whenever he decides to play, he will be included in the team,” a BCCI official told The Indian Express.
The third Test will start on February 15 in Rajkot and the fourth Test on February 23 in Ranchi. The fifth Test is slated to kick-start on March 7 in Dharamsala, so there is hope among the fans that Kohli may feature in that game.
Is Virat Kohli having a second child?
According to Virat Kohli’s close friend AB de Villiers, Kohli and Anushka Sharma are due to have a second child, and that’s why the cricketer did not feature in the first two Tests against England.
“All I know is he is fine. He is spending a bit of time with his family, that is the reason he is missing the first two Test matches. I am not going to confirm anything else. I cannot wait to see him back. He is fine, he is doing well,” AB de Villiers said in a YouTube video.
“Yes, his second child is on the way. It’s family time and things are important to him… I think most people’s priority is family. You can’t judge Virat for that. He has made absolutely the right decision.”
In the absence of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul batted at number 4 in Hyderabad and Shreyas Iyer in Vizag.
Rahul, who missed the Hyderabad Test due to a quad injury, is likely to return for the third Test in Rajkot, while Ravindra Jadeja, who suffered a hamstring injury, is set to miss his home Test match.
The series currently stands level at 1-1.