For personal reasons, Indian batsman Virat Kohli has withdrawn from the first two Test matches against England.
According to the 35-year-old former captain, “certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention” to the management of the team and India captain Rohit Sharma.
On Thursday, the five-Test series kicks off in Hyderabad.
Harry Brook, the England batter, returned to the UK for personal reasons the day before Kohli withdrew.
With 8,848 runs scored, Kohli, who has participated in 113 Test matches for India, is ranked fourth among all-time top scorers.
Since being forced to miss the India Test against South Africa in Johannesburg due to a back spasm more than two years ago, he has not missed a Test for his country.
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According to a statement from the Indian Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI), “Virat has emphasised that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention.”
“The board and team management have offered their support to the star batter and are confident in the ability of the remaining squad members to step up. The BCCI respects his decision.
“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.”
India, who captained the team in 68 Test matches from 2014 to 2022, will select a replacement in the roster for Kohli.