BREAKING: Veteran India batter withdraws from first two Tests against England
The buzz around the five-match Test series between India and England is palpable. The players from both teams are preparing hard for this vital series. The England team spent ten days in Abu Dhabi to acclimatise to the conditions and landed in India yesterday.
It is a massive series in the context of the World Test Championship, and the result of this rubber will dictate the campaign for both teams. However, there are some availability issues for both sides. A key player from both sides will be unavailable, at least for the first few games.
From England’s campaign, the news came out that Harry Brook will be unavailable for the first few games. While he can return at some stage of the series, Brook’s availability is uncertain. The reason for his absence is unknown and termed ‘personal’.
As if this news wasn’t big enough, a star Indian player has also withdrawn his name for the first two games. It is a massive blow for India. The player is vital for the Indian team and will be dearly missed in the initial phase of the series.
Veteran India batter withdraws from first two Tests against England
The legendary Virat Kohli will be unavailable for the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons. A replacement will be announced soon. The BCCI released a statement to break the news earlier today.
“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 stated in a media release.
"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. The focus should remain on supporting the Indian cricket team as they embark on the upcoming challenges in the Test series.”
It is the second time Kohli has asked for a break, citing personal reasons. Virat was withdrawn from the first T20I against Afghanistan in Mohali two weeks back. However, he returned for the final two T20Is.
It is a massive blow for the Indian team because Kohli has been in sensational form. Further, he is an experienced player in the middle order amidst a transition phase in the Test cricket team. The first Test starts in Hyderabad on Thursday (January 25).