For the first time since his Test debut in 2011, Virat Kohli will miss an entire Test series as he will not be available for the rest of the three Test matches against England owing to a family emergency.
The BCCI announced a 17-man squad for the next three Tests against Ben Stokes’ team, and as has been reported by multiple sources in recent days, Virat Kohli’s name was missing from the squad. The BCCI confirmed that the 35-year-old has pulled out from the last three games, after pulling out from the first two Tests only four days out from the start of the series last month.
Virat Kohli had arrived in Hyderabad to prepare for the first Test but the senior batsman had to leave the squad to tend to a family emergency. It has been learned that Kohli is currently in London.
BCCI extends its support to Virat Kohli
In the release of the squad for the rest of the series, the BCCI said they completely respect and support Kohli’s decision.
The BCCI stated, “Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. The Board fully respects and supports Mr. Kohli’s decision.”
The third Test will start on February 15 in Rajkot before the action moves to Ranchi and Dharamsala.
While India will miss Kohli, the side has been given a boost by the likely availability of KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja. Both players missed the second Test in Vizag due to injuries. Although they have been named in the squad, the BCCI said their participation in Rajkot will depend on the clearance from the medical team.
Shreyas Iyer was not named in the squad. There had been reports suggesting he had picked up a back spasm, but the BCCI release didn’t mention anything about Iyer.
Mohammed Siraj, who was rested from the second Test, has returned, while Mukesh Kumar has been retained in the squad. Since Jadeja and Siraj have returned the BCCI released Saurabh Kumar and Avesh Khan. Sarfaraz Khan has retained his place in the squad.
Bengal pacer Akash Deep has received his maiden India Test call-up.
India squad for last three Tests against England: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul*, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja*, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep
**The participation of Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul is subject to fitness clearance from the BCCI medical team.