Star batter Virat Kohli has pulled out of the remainder of the Test series against England for personal reasons, the BCCI confirmed on Saturday, ending speculation around premier player’s availability for the high-profile contest. Kohli had missed the first two Tests.
“Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. The Board fully respects and supports Mr. Kohli’s decision,” the BCCI said in a release.
Kohli is currently abroad for pressing personal family matter.
The series is locked 1-1 with India winning the second Test in Vizag. The third match is scheduled to start from February 15 in Rajkot.
The national selection committee included senior players Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul in the squad but their inclusion will be subject to clearance by the BCCI’s medical team.
Jadeja had injured his hamstring while Rahul had slight right quadricep niggle.
Senior batter Shreyas Iyer, who complained of groin and lower back stiffness has not been picked. However his medical update has not been provided by the BCCI.
It is believed that Iyer would have been dropped in any case and his injury made the decision easier for selectors.
The only new face in the 17-man squad is Bengal speedster Akash Deep, who has been rewarded for his consistent show in first-class cricket and in recent India A vs England Lions Test series.
Left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar has been released with Jadeja coming back while Mohammed Siraj is back in the squad in place of Avesh Khan.
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.