IND vs ENG: NO Virat Kohli, Team India name Rajat Patidar as replacement for opening 2 Test Matches, India Squad for England Test Updated
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IND vs ENG: On Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named Rajat Patidar as the replacement for Virat Kohli, who has made himself unavailable for the opening two test matches against England. The India vs England test series is scheduled to get underway on January 25 in Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Notably, citing personal reasons, Virat Kohli informed his unavailability for the first two tests against England at the eleventh hour. The Indian Cricket Board has asked everyone to maintain privacy and not indulge in any speculation.

“Mr Virat Kohli has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to be withdrawn from the first two Tests of the upcoming IDFC First Bank Test series against England, citing personal reasons,” said BCCI in a statement.

“Virat has spoken to Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management and the selectors and has emphasized that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rajat Patidar storms into the Indian test side on the back of some strong innings in the last few weeks. The Madhya Pradesh batter scored 151 against England Lions in Ahmedabad, last week after notching up 111 in the warm-up fixture against the England Lions.

Though Patidhar usually holds a position in the top order, he is very unlikely to get a chance at the top rather he will be slotted in the middle-order, should he get a chance.

Talking about Patidar’s First Class numbers, the batter has scored 4000 runs at an impressive average of 45.97 after playing 95 innings and 55 matches. The batter has 12 centuries and 22 half-centuries under his belt in the format.

With the selection of Rajat Patidar, the BCCI also clears its stance on the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. The two stalwarts have been overlooked for the last two series, after their poor run of form during the World Test Championship 2023.

However, with Pujara’s brilliant run in the ongoing Ranji Trophy 2023-24, there were some rumours that the veteran batter could be called into the side in the absence of Virat Kohli. Notably, Pujara has been the second-highest run-getter in the ongoing Ranji Trophy with 444 runs in three matches.

Below is the Updated India squad for the England series:

India’s Squad for England Series

Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Mohd. Siraj, Avesh Khan, Rajat Patidar

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