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Virat Kohli is absent from the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons.
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Virat Kohli is absent from the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons.

Virat Kohli will not be participating in the first two out of five Tests between India and England due to personal reasons. The Board of Control for Cricket in India has requested that media and fans respect Kohli’s privacy and refrain from speculating about the nature of his reasons.

The initial examination commences in Hyderabad on Thursday, followed by the second in Vizag on the following Friday. There will be a pause before the third test begins in Rajkot on February 15th.

“According to a statement from the BCCI, Virat has communicated with captain Rohit Sharma, the team management, and the selectors to express that although playing for his country is his top priority, there are personal matters that require his full attention. The BCCI acknowledges and respects his decision and is confident in the remaining squad members’ abilities to perform well in the Test series.”

Kohli’s decision to pull out adds to the disorganized preparations for the series. The England team arrived in India on Sunday evening, giving them only three days to prepare for the first match after deciding to train in Abu Dhabi. Harry Brook has also withdrawn from the series, possibly for the entire duration, citing personal reasons. Dan Lawrence will join the squad on Monday night as his replacement.

Shoaib Bashir, the 20-year-old spinner with just 10 first-class ­wickets who was a shock addition to the ­tourists’ Test squad, remains in Abu Dhabi having not yet been issued with a visa – his family’s Pakistani background has complicated his application, though the BCCI and the Indian government have now got involved to expedite ­proceedings and England expect him to join them on Tuesday.

The main dilemma for England currently is deciding whether to substitute Brook for Lawrence to provide more bowling choices, or to include Ben Foakes as the wicketkeeper and allow Jonny Bairstow to focus on batting. Both Foakes and Bairstow practiced with the gloves on Monday. England captain Ben Stokes is anticipated to play after making a good recovery from his knee injury.­

I had a surgical procedure in late November.

Brendon McCullum, the head coach of England, praised the physical condition of a player, comparing him to a greyhound. McCullum noted that the player has put in a lot of effort and has an outstanding work ethic. McCullum has observed the player’s running and believes he is ready to compete.

McCullum stated that England does not intend to alter their aggressive strategy when facing India, who have only been defeated in one out of their last 31 Test series at home, a streak that dates back to October 2004. The solitary loss was against England during the 2012-13 season and since then, India has won all 16 series they have played.

“Is it necessary to make adjustments? I am unsure,” he stated. “Ultimately, the goal is to have players fully focused in the present moment, feeling confident and invincible when they step onto the field. This allows their abilities and strengths to shine.”

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We must get 20 outs in each Test and score one more run than our opponents. It’s not complicated, but the details of the game, such as when to stick with our strategies and when to change, will be the most interesting aspect. That’s what makes this series so exciting – we will be pushed to our limits and our tactics will be put to the test, revealing our true abilities.

Dan Lawrence was selected to join the England Lions team in India, ahead of other players who were already there. McCullum stated that this decision does not discredit the current Lions players, as Lawrence was next in line and selection loyalty is valued by the team.

Source: theguardian.com