The BCCI has confirmed that Virat Kohli has pulled out from the rest of the Test series against England. This means that this will be the first time in Kohli’s Test career that he will miss an entire Test series since making his Test debut. And it hasn’t come because of (lack of) fitness or form, but because of a family emergency.
This only further highlights how elite fitness standards he has kept and maintained tremendous consistency for the past dozen years.
The BCCI on Saturday morning announced the much-awaited squad for the next three Test against Ben Stokes‘ team. The third Test will start on February 15 in Rajkot before the action moves to Ranchi and Dharamsala.
The BCCI made a statement on Virat Kohli:
On Virat Kohli, the BCCI statement said, “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.”
While Virat Kohli’s absence will be hurtful, India have been boosted by the likely return of KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja – both players missed the second Test in Vizag due to quad and hamstring injuries respectively. Although they have been named in the squad, the BCCI made it clear that they will play only after being cleared of fitness by the medical team.
Mohammed Siraj, who was rested from the second Test, has returned.
Since Jadeja and Siraj have returned the BCCI released Saurabh Kumar and Avesh Khan. Sarfaraz Khan has retained his place in the squad, but Shreyas Iyer has been dropped. There were reports of Iyer complaining of back pain, but the board release didn’t mention anything about it, so it can be considered that Iyer is dropped after a long period of low scores.
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.