Ind vs Eng: Kohli withdraws from remaining series amid second child rumours

| Updated: 10 February, 2024 2:25 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli has officially announced his decision to withdraw from the remaining three Tests against England to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials, the selection committee, and the Indian team management, citing personal reasons.

Kohli’s absence from the first two Tests in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam had initially sparked speculation, which has now been put to rest with his formal notification to the concerned authorities.

There have been widespread rumours suggesting that Kohli and his wife, Anushka Sharma, are expecting their second child. These speculations gained traction after South African cricket team captain AB de Villiers, a close friend of Kohli, initially hinted at the same during an interaction. However, de Villiers later retracted his statement, admitting to sharing false information.

In response to Kohli’s decision, BCCI secretary Jay Shah affirmed the board’s respect and support, emphasising that Kohli’s well-being is paramount. Consequently, the selectors announced India’s squad for the remaining Tests.

“Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. The Board fully respects and supports Kohli’s decision,” Jay Shah said on Saturday.

Kohli’s absence poses a significant setback for the Indian batting lineup, which has struggled to produce substantial runs in the series, so far. His decision marks the first time he will miss a Test in a home series since his debut, underscoring its significance.

Additionally, the squad announcement revealed the exclusion of batsman Shreyas Iyer, while the return of KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja after injury lay-offs bolstered the team’s composition. However, Jadeja’s fitness clearance remains pending, with the selectors awaiting a final report before the third Test.

As India gears up to face England in the remainder of the series, the absence of Kohli and the inclusion of returning players add intrigue to the upcoming matches, with both teams vying for dominance in the hotly contested series currently tied at 1-1.


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