Star batsman Virat Kohli has pulled out of the remaining Test series against England due to personal reasons, the BCCI confirmed on Saturday, ending speculation about the key player's availability for the high-profile contest. Kohli missed the first two Tests and could be unavailable for the remaining three matches, PTI reported on February 3. “Virat Kohli will be unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. The Board fully respects this and supports Mr Kohli's decision,” the BCCI said in a release.
Kohli is currently abroad due to personal family matters.
The series is level at 1-1 with India winning the second Test in Vizag. The third match is going to start from 15th February in Rajkot.
The national selection committee has included senior players Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul in the team, but their inclusion will depend on the approval of the BCCI medical team.
Jadeja had a hamstring injury while Rahul had a slight injury to his right quadricep.
Senior batsman Shreyas Iyer, who complained of stiffness in his waist and lower back, has not been selected. However, his medical update has not been given by BCCI.
It is believed that Iyer would have been dropped in any case and his injury has made the decision easy for the selectors.
The only new face in the 17-member squad is Bengal fast bowler Akash Deep, who has been rewarded for his consistent performances in first-class cricket and the recent India A vs England Lions Test series.
Left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar has been released and Jadeja has returned while Mohammed Siraj has returned to the team in place of Avesh Khan.
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 and Akash Deep
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