Amid the reports that India’s star batter Virat Kohli may skip the third and fourth Tests against England at Rajkot and Ranchi, the BCCI officials and selectors have not lost hope.

The BCCI officials and selectors are set to meet on Thursday to finalize the squad, and said Kohli hasn’t yet informed anything to the board or the team management, reported Indian Express.

Kohli, who did not play the first two Test matches – one at Hyderabad and the second at Vizag – had cited personal reasons. BCCI had not given details about the nature of the personal reasons of Kohli and requested the fans and media to respect Kohli’s decision.

ESPNCricinfo on 8 February reported that Kohli is all set to be unavailable for the third and fourth Tests. Apart from that, there is also a doubt for the fifth and final one in Dharamsala.

ALSO READ: India Vs England: Virat Kohli may miss next two Tests in Rajkot and Ranchi, here’s why

However, the Indian Express report while quoting a BCCI official said Kohli hasn’t given any concrete information.

“Virat will decide when he wants to make a comeback to the Indian side. He hasn’t informed us till now but whenever he decides to play, he will be included in the team,” the BCCI official was quoted as saying in the report.

India and England will play the third Test in Rajkot from February 15-19, while the fourth game is in Ranchi from February 23-27. While the final Test of the series will be played in Dharamsala from March 7-11).

What AB de Villiers said?

Earlier on 3 February, Kohli’s close friend de Villiers confirmed that Anushka Sharma and her husband, Virat Kohli, were expecting their second child. He added that Virat is on a break as he needs to be with his family.

He said, “So I wrote to him ‘Been wanting to check in with you for a while now biscuits. How are you?’. He said ‘Just need to be with my family right now. I am doing well'”, de Villiers said in his YouTube show on Saturday.

“Yes, his second child is on the way. Yes, it’s family time and things are important to him. If you are not true and genuine to yourself, you lose track of what you are here for. I think most people’s priority is family. You can’t judge Virat for that,” he added.

However, the news has not been confirmed by Virat Kohli or Anushka Sharma.

Indian squad for the third Test:

Though it is still not clear if Kohli is returning, KL Rahul is likely to return to the playing eleven and Rajat Patidar will then have to sit out as Shreyas Iyer.

Also, on Jasprit Bumrah, if the team includes him for the Rajkot Test, there is a high probability that he might be rested for the Ranchi Test. Also, Mohammed Siraj will be back and Mukesh Kumar is most likely to be axed.

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Published: 08 Feb 2024, 05:37 PM IST

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