Virat Kohli Withdraws From First Two Tests vs England For Personal Reasons

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BCCI announced on Sunday about his absence from the first two matches.

Vishal Singh Jan. 23, 2024

Legendary Indian cricketer Virat Kohli has withdrawn from the first two Test matches against England citing "personal reasons."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 through a statement, the BCCI has not yet announced a Kohli replacement. For "personal reasons," Kohli had earlier withdrawn from the opening T20 International match against Afghanistan. However, the nature of Virat's issue 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 extremely important for young players like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, etc. to step up and perform in Kohli's absence.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire batter Harry Brook has also flown home from England’s tour of India for personal reasons. Surrey’s Dan Lawrence has been named as his replacement but Brook could return later in the five-match series.

BCCI Clarified -

"Mr. Virat Kohli has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to be withdrawn from the first two Tests of the upcoming IDFC First Bank Test series against England, citing personal reasons.
"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."
"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."
"The Men's Selection Committee will name a replacement soon."
~BCCI

India Squad For First Two Tests vs England:

Rohit Sharma (c), 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