Virat Kohli opts out of first two England Tests: Indian cricket board - GulfToday

Virat Kohli opts out of first two England Tests


Virat Kohli celebrates after scoring 100 during a Test match. File

India's Virat Kohli will miss the first two Tests against England due to "personal reasons", the country's cricket board said on Monday.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will name a replacement soon with the opening Test of the five-match series starting on Thursday in Hyderabad.

"Virat has spoken to Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management and the selectors and has emphasised that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention," BCCI said in a statement.

"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 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."

Kohli, who amassed 765 runs in 11 ODI World Cup matches for runners-up India last year, missed the white-ball leg of the South African tour in 2023 and the opening T20 match against Afghanistan at home recently.

The 35-year-old remains the backbone of the Indian batting with 8,848 runs including 29 centuries and an average of over 49 in 113 Tests.

India named their squad for the first two Tests and pace bowler Mohammed Shami missed out as he recovers from an ankle injury.

The second Test starts February 2 in Visakhapatnam, followed by the third beginning February 15 in Rajkot.

India has remained unbeaten in a Test series at home since 2012 when Alastair Cook's touring England team beat them 2-1.

Ben Stokes' England have landed in Hyderabad after holding a training camp in Abu Dhabi.

England's Harry Brook on Sunday pulled out of the series due to "personal reasons" with Dan Lawrence, who played the last of his 11 Tests in 2022, named as the replacement.

Agence France-Presse

Related articles