BCCI in dark over Virat Kohli’s availability for England Tests; KL Rahul to return soon – Reports

Indian batsman Virat Kohli missed out on the first two Tests of the IND vs ENG Test series due to personal reasons, whereas his availability for the rest three matches is still under the question mark, as per TOI. As performer South African cricketer and one of Kohli’s closest friends AB de Villiers, Virat and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting a second child. However, the information is yet to be confirmed by the couple.

While the team for the rest three Test matches against England is yet to be announced, the selection committee under the leadership of Ajit Agarkar is waiting for a clear picture regarding Virat Kohli’s presence in the rest three games. As per a report by Times of India, the BCCI is in no mood to push Virat Kohli to return to the team, if he is in no space to play for the side. However, it is expected that the Indian board will check up on him due to the inexperienced Indian middle order.

BCCI unclear about Virat Kohli’s return for the rest three Tests against England

A BCCI source told Times of India,  “The call will be entirely on Kohli. The board respects his personal space. If he agrees to play any part in the series, then there’s nothing like that. But it will be his call.”

While the picture behind Virat Kohli’s availability is not clear, the BCCI believes that KL Rahul will be back from the third Test match after he pulled out of the second game due to a strain in his quadriceps. Rahul played an innings of 86 runs in the first game and is also a decent wicketkeeper. Rahul gives stability to the middle order and the team will be wanting him to return in the third game.

The Indian team is currently playing with a very inexperienced middle order consisting of Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat, Rajat Patidar, and Axar Patel. These batsmen were not able to convert their start into a big score during the first innings of the second Test and got out after scoring 20 to 40 odd runs.

On the other hand, if Virat Kohli and KL Rahul return to the team, this will be a total blessing for the Indian team. With Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer struggling with form, if Virat returns to the team he might take Shubman’s place whereas Iyer may be replaced by Sarfaraz Khan.

However, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer have one innings left to prove their place on the Test side. However, if they fail to do so, the selectors may think of bringing in someone experienced such as Cheteshwar Pujara. Pujara has been scoring a lot of runs in the Ranji Trophy and recently smashed his 17th double hundred.

As per reports, the team management has been very clear in giving chances to the young talent and they showcased their stance towards Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane as they didn’t include them in the Test squad against South Africa.

Getting back to the second IND vs ENG Test match, the Indian cricket team ended up at 28/0 after the end of Day 2 in Vizag. England were wrapped for 253 runs in their first innings courtesy of a six-wicket haul by Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah became the fastest Indian pacer to pick up 150 Test wickets and achieved the feat in 64 Tests.

Jasprit Bumrah showcased a brilliant display of reverse swing and removed top England names such as Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes. India led by 171 runs at the end of Day 2 and will be aiming to gain a big lead and then wrap up England in the second innings to continue their undefeated record in Vizag.

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