Former Indian captain Virat Kohli will miss the first two Test matches against England due to personal reasons. The exact reason for his decision is still unknown. The first Test begins in Hyderabad on January 25.
There has already been a lot of speculation about Virat Kohli withdrawing from the first two Tests. Indian cricket fans have been divided into two halves. While one half sympathizes with Kohli’s decision, another section is criticizing the former Indian captain.
Kohli’s decision to miss the first two Tests has sparked reactions from almost all former Indian cricketers currently following the team. Harsha Bhogle is the latest to join the bandwagon. Bhogle, known as “The Voice of Indian Cricket”, has asked fans to support the former Indian captain and pray for him at this time of crisis in his life.
“If someone who is an avid supporter of Test cricket and so passionately loves playing for India decides to miss two games, it must be a deeply compelling reason. So let’s wish Virat Kohli the best, let’s hope that this phase passes and that he comes back happier.” Bhogle wrote in his tweet.
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Harsha Bhogle comes out in support of Virat Kohli
If someone who is an avid supporter of Test cricket and so passionately loves playing for India decides to miss two games, it must be a deeply compelling reason. So let’s wish Virat Kohli the best, hope that this phase passes and that he returns happier.
—Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 22, 2024
Kohli has been very vocal about his love for Test cricket. Her sudden decision to skip the first two tests has taken everyone by surprise. The former Indian captain earlier missed the first T20I against Afghanistan also due to personal reasons. He returned to play the last two games.
The BCCI has issued a statement regarding Kohli’s withdrawal from the first two Test matches. He said Kohli informed the board and skipper Rohit Sharma about his decision. The board also asked Indian fans not to criticize Kohl’s decision.
“Virat has spoken to captain Rohit Sharma, the team management and the selectors and has emphasized that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations require his presence and full attention.” the BCCI said in a statement.
“The BCCI respects his decision and the board and team management have extended their support to the star batsman and are confident in the abilities of the remaining members of the team to step forward and deliver commendable performances in the Test series. “The BCCI requests the media and fans to respect the privacy of Virat Kohli during this time and refrain from speculating on the nature of his personal motives.” BCCI statement reads more.
The BCCI is yet to name a replacement for Kohli. They are unlikely to look towards the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara or Ajinkya Rahane, who did not have a good start to the Ranji Trophy season. Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra has suggested Devdutt Padikkal and Sai Sudharsan as possible replacement options for Kohli.
England will play 5 test matches against India. The first match of the series will be played in Hyderabad on January 25, 2024. The second match will be held in Vizag on February 2. Rajkot will host the third match of the series on February 15. The fourth match will begin on February 23. in Ranchi. The fifth and final match of the Test series will be held in Dharamsala on March 7, 2024.
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