Team India has been given a major blow as senior batsman Virat Kohli will not be available for the first two Test matches of the upcoming 5-Test series against England, starting this Thursday in Hyderabad.
Virat Kohli had arrived in Hyderabad on Sunday morning to prepare for the first Test. However, on Monday afternoon, the BCCI announced that the 35-year-old has pulled out from the first two Test matches, to be played in Hyderabad and Vizag.
Why has Virat Kohli withdrawn from first two Tests against England?
The BCCI stated that Virat Kohli had requested the board to withdraw from the first two Tests against England, citing personal reasons.
The BCCI said in a statement, “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.
“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 board has urged the media to respect Kohli and his family’s privacy in these times.
The statement added, “The BCCI requests the media and fans to respect Virat Kohli’s privacy during this time and refrain from speculating on the nature of his personal reasons. The focus should remain on supporting the Indian cricket team as they embark on the upcoming challenges in the Test series.”
A replacement for Kohli will be named soon.
In the other camp, Harry Brook, too, has withdrawn from the series due to personal reasons. Brook, who didn’t travel with the rest of the England contingent from Dubai to India, has returned to his home. England have named all-rounder Dan Lawrence as Brook’s replacement.