India’s test captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane opted out of the three day first-class warm-up fixture against County Select XI in Durham along with senior-off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Rohit Sharma is leading the side in Kohli and Rahane’s absence.

Kohli felt stiffness in his back on late Monday evening and he has been advised rest from the three-day first-class warm-up game by the medical team, the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a statement.

Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has mild swelling around his left upper hamstring and has been given an injection. He is therefore not available for the three-day first-class warm-up game. “The BCCI Medical Team is monitoring him, and he is expected to fully recover well in time for the first Test against England starting from 4th August at Nottingham,” the statement added.

Indian players are wearing black armbands to mourn the sad demise of former India cricketer Yashpal Sharmaji, who sadly passed away on 13th July after a cardiac arrest.

Mayank Agarwal, who is likely to open with Rohit Sharma in the first Test at Nottingham will be watched keenly along with Mohammed Siraj. The openers and Cheteshwar Pujara, however, fell in the first session in disappointing fashion.

“The ECB made a request to the Indian team management to let two players from the Indian contingent play for County Select XI after some of their players were deemed to be unavailable either due to injury or close contacts of a Covid-19 positive person. Accordingly, Washington Sundar and Avesh Khan have been made available to play for their team,” the board added.

Later on in the match, however, Khan had to walk off the pitch due to an injured finger while getting hit on the follow through.

First team regular Mohammed Shami has also been rested from the game.

Regular keeper Rishabh Pant and senior reserve glovesman Wriddhiman Saha are currently isolating in London after the COVID scare but are expected to join the team before the intra-squad game scheduled at the Riverside ground during the last week of this month, reported PTI.

It is tentatively scheduled between July 26-28.

India XI: Rohit Sharma(C), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.