India will be without their star player Virat Kohli for remaining Tests vs England; series is level at 1-1 going into the third Test in Rajkot next week; follow England’s five-Test series in India across Sky Sports’ digital platforms with live blogs and reports
Nasser Hussain praised Virat Kohli‘s decision to put his private life first and described his absence from India’s side as a blow
India have confirmed star batter Virat Kohli will miss the remaining three Tests of their series against England.
Kohli withdrew from the first two Tests, citing personal reasons, and his absence will extend into the next two matches in Rajkot (February 15-19) and Ranchi (February 23-27) and the fifth and final Test in Dharamshala on March 7-11.
With almost 9,000 Test runs and 29 centuries banked, Kohli, who averages 56.38 on home soil against England, was a big miss in India’s middle order in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, although India levelled the five-match series at 1-1 with a 106-run victory in Vizag on Monday.
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“It’s a blow for India, a blow for the series and a blow for world cricket. It’s going to be a special series, it already has been. The first two games have been fascinating,” said Sky Sports Cricket’s Nasser Hussain.
“Make no mistake, Virat Kohli is one of the greatest batters to ever play the game. Any series and any side would miss someone of the stature of Kohli.
“First things first, the game needs to look after the likes of Virat Kohli as well. He’s been playing international cricket for more than 15 years now.
Image: Virat Kohli's personal life must come first says Nasser Hussain
“If he needs a break to be away with family and some time away from the game, we absolutely wish Virat Kohli all the best.
“It means we don’t have the mouth-watering possibility of an Anderson vs Kohli contest like we’ve seen over the years but Kohli and his family and his private life have to come first. So it’s a blow for India but, as we’ve seen, they’ve got a lot of very good young batters.”
The injured duo of batter KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who missed the second match, were recalled to the 17-man squad for the final three tests. They will only play subject to fitness clearance from the medical team.
Middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer was left out amid reports that he had suffered a back issue, while selectors resisted the temptation to rest in-form pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who has had his share of time out due to injury last year.
Mohammed Siraj was also included in the squad after missing the last game, while fellow seamer Akash Deep earned his maiden test call-up.
India squad: Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel, KS Bharat, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep.
England Test series in India 2024
- First Test, Hyderabad: England beat India by 28 runs
- Second Test, Vizag: India beat England by 106 runs
- Third Test – February 15-19 (Rajkot)
- Fourth Test – February 23-27 (Ranchi)
- Fifth Test – March 7-11 (Dharamshala)
Follow over-by-over text commentary from the third Test between India and England, in Rajkot, from Thursday February 15 live on skysports.com and the Sky Sports App (first ball at 4am).
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