Legendary Indian cricketer Virat Kohli has withdrawn from the first two Test matches against England citing “personal reasons.” The same was verified by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday via a statement. Though they want to do so when the time comes, the BCCI has not yet announced a Kohli successor. For “personal reasons,” Kohli had earlier withdrawn from the first Twenty20 International match against Afghanistan. However, the nature of Virat’s personal predicament has not been made public.
According to the BCCI statement, Virat has already discussed the issue with captain Rohit Sharma and has the captain’s backing. It will be very important for young players like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, etc. to step up and perform in Kohli’s absence.
In a statement, the BCCI said that Mr. Virat Kohli has asked to be removed from the first two Test matches of the forthcoming IDFC First Bank Test series against England due to personal concerns.
“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.”
“During this period, the BCCI asks the public and media to respect Virat Kohli’s privacy and to avoid making assumptions about the nature of his personal reasons. Supporting the Indian cricket team as they take on the next obstacles in the Test series should continue to be the major priority.”
“The Men’s Selection Committee will name a replacement soon.”
India and England will play a five-match Test series, with the opening game set to take place in Hyderabad on January 25. On February 2, the series’ second game will take place in Visag. It is anticipated that Virat Kohli will play in the last three games of the series.
Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), and Avesh Khan are the India squad for the first two Test match against England.