Virat Kohli to Extend Absence from England Series, Doubts Loom Over Fifth Test

Kohli's Continued Absence Puts Pressure on Indian Squad; Rahul and Jadeja Poised for Return.

India’s star batsman, Virat Kohli, is set to prolong his absence from the ongoing England series, with reports indicating that he will miss the upcoming third and fourth Tests in Rajkot and Ranchi, respectively. While Kohli’s absence continues to pose a challenge for the Indian team, there are positive updates regarding the recovery of KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, both of whom are expected to be available for selection.

According to sources close to the team, doubts persist over Kohli’s availability even for the fifth Test in Dharmasala, scheduled to commence on March 6. This uncertainty surrounding Kohli’s participation is a crucial factor that selectors will weigh upon as they convene this week to finalize the India squad for the final three Tests against England.

Kohli’s absence from the England series initially surfaced on January 22, just three days before the commencement of the series, when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that he would miss the first two Tests due to “personal reasons”. Kohli had briefly joined the Indian squad in Hyderabad on the same day but departed shortly thereafter. Since the initial statement, the BCCI has refrained from providing further updates on Kohli’s situation.

In their earlier announcement, the BCCI stated, “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.”

Meanwhile, there is a glimmer of hope for the Indian team as KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja are showing promising signs of recovery. Both players missed the second Test in Vizag but are reportedly on track to return to action soon. Their potential availability will provide a much-needed boost to the team’s lineup as they aim to maintain their dominance in the ongoing series against England.

As the Indian team navigates through Kohli’s extended absence and prepares for the upcoming Tests, the selectors face a critical task of assembling a squad capable of overcoming the challenges posed by a formidable English side. The absence of their talismanic captain further underscores the need for cohesion and resilience within the team as they strive to secure victory in the remaining matches of the series.

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