India will be shorthanded going into its five-match Tests against England after Virat Kohli has pulled out. The international cricketer cited “personal reasons” in skipping the first two Test matches starting in Hyderabad on Thursday,
Kohli told India skipper Rohit Sharma regarding his decision, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Virat cited “certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention,” the BCCI said in a statement on Monday.
“The BCCI respects his decision and the Board and team management have extended its support to the star batter,” the Board added.
India will now rely on youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, and Shubman Gill to step up in Kohli’s absence. The BCCI has yet to announce Kohli’s replacement.
After the opener, the second match of the series will be held in Vizag on February 2. Kohli is expected back for the remaining three matches.
Kohli earlier skipped the first T2OI against Afghanistan, where he also cited personal reasons. The 35-year-old batter was the second player to withdraw from the series after Harry Brook also pulled out from England due to personal matters.
India is second in the World Test Championship points table behind defending champions Australia.