Indian captain Rohit Sharma addressed the pre-match press conference, discussing Virat Kohli’s absence from the first two Tests against England.
Notably, Virat Kohli has withdrawn from the matches for personal reasons, and Rajat Patidar, the middle-order batsman from Madhya Pradesh, has been named as his replacement. Patidar’s recent impressive form includes scoring over 150 against the England Lions.
The BCCI officially confirmed that Virat Kohli had communicated his urgent need to be unavailable for the first two Tests to both the board and captain Rohit Sharma. The board urged fans to respect Kohli’s privacy during this time. The BCCI report read:
“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 report further added: “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 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”
Rohit Sharma Explained Why Pujara Wasn’t Kohli’s Replacement
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, addressing the press conference ahead of the series against England, commented on Virat Kohli’s absence from the first two Tests. Rohit revealed that they initially considered bringing in an experienced batter but eventually opted for Rajat Patidar, as the team management is open to experimenting with new faces. Rohit said:
“We did think of going back to experienced player to fill in Kohli’s absence, but then when will we give the youngsters the chance”
Further, Rohit Sharma elaborated on the decision to select Rajat Patidar as Virat Kohli’s replacement, citing Patidar’s familiarity with the conditions in Hyderabad. He mentioned the management’s reluctance to expose batters to foreign conditions and emphasized the importance of selecting players who are well-acquainted with the home conditions. He said:
“Sometimes you have to bring in certain players in conditions they are familiar with, we do not want to expose them to foreign conditions”
Rohit on Kohli’s Replacement: “Sometimes you have to bring in certain players in conditions they are familiar with, we do not want to expose them to foreign conditions” (2/2)#INDvsENG | 1st Test
— News18 CricketNext (@cricketnext) January 24, 2024