India’s Virat Kohli will miss the first two Tests against England due to “personal reasons,” the country’s cricket board said on Monday.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India will name a replacement soon with the opening Test of the five-match series starting Thursday in Hyderabad.
“Virat has spoken to Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management and the selectors and has emphasised that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention,” BCCI said in statement.
“The BCCI respects his decision and the Board and team management has extended its support to the star batter and is confident in the abilities of the remaining squad members to step up and deliver commendable performances in the Test series.”
The statement added: “The BCCI requests the media and fans to respect Virat Kohli’s privacy during this time and refrain from speculating on the nature of his personal reasons.”
Kohli, who amassed 765 runs in 11 ODI World Cup matches for runners-up India last year, missed the white-ball leg of the South African tour in 2023 and the opening T20 match against Afghanistan at home recently.
Following Harry Brook's decision to withdraw from the entire tour on Sunday due to personal reasons, Kohli became the second player in as many days to choose to sit out a portion or all of the series.
The first Test begins on January 25 in Hyderabad, and the second Test begins in Visakhapatnam on February 2.
India have remained unbeaten in a Test series at home since 2012 when Alastair Cook’s touring England team beat the hosts 2-1.
Ben Stokes’ England have landed in Hyderabad after holding a training camp in Abu Dhabi.
With inputs from AFP