First Time In 13 Years! Virat Kohli's Absence From England Series Creates An Old Void
India vs England: Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons
- NDTV Sports Desk
- Updated: February 10, 2024 03:07 PM IST
The Indian cricket squad for the last three Tests against England is out. After much delay, the BCCI named the squad on Saturday. Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer have not been picked while KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja are back, but only if they clear the fitness benchmarks ahead of the third Test that starts on February 15. Earlier, Virat had withdrawn from the first two Tests due to personal reasons. Now, with the squad for the final three Tests issued on Saturday morning by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Virat's absence has extended to the entire series.
"Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. The Board fully respects and supports Mr. Kohli's decision," the BCCI said in a statement.
After the announcement, Virat Kohli's IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore pointed out that it is the first time in 13 years that a Test series will be played without Virat Kohli.
"The first Test series in 13 years without Virat Kohli. The nation is with you, and your seat remains reserved whenever you're ready to return, King," the post read.
The first Test series in 13 years without Virat Kohli.— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) February 10, 2024
The nation is with you, and your seat remains reserved whenever you're ready to return, King. #PlayBold #INDvENG #TeamIndia @imVkohli pic.twitter.com/fxOgLIlhWL
South Africa legendary seamer Dale Steyn asserted on Friday that "family is your most important priority" as star India batter Virat Kohli is away from the game as India plays England at home in a five-match series due to personal reasons.
The 40-year-old stated that if Virat is decided to sit back and spend some valuable time with the family then he does not see any problem in that.
"Family is your most important priority. Sorry, that's it. That's the end of the story right there. I've got three dogs and when one of them got sick, I was out of the IPL. I was jumping on the plane out of there to come back and see my dog. If Virat Kohli has decided to sit back home because he wants to be with his wife if he's going to have his second child, I don't see any problem with that," Steyn said during an interaction with media ahead of the SA20 final between Durban Super Giants and Sunrisers Eastern Cape.
Steyn further said that the 35-year-old has served the country for a long time now. He also said that the right-hand batter has done all the things that a cricketer can do for his country and questioned what else Virat has to do now to prove himself.
"He has been a servant of India for many years. He's won a World Cup; he's captained with success. I don't know what more a man can do to prove himself in the cricketing world," the former pacer added.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul*, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja*, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep
The participation of Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul is subject to fitness clearance from the BCCI medical team.