Virat Kohli to miss remaining Tests against England; Rahul, Jadeja back

NEW DELHI: As expected and reported, former India captain Virat Kohli was not named in the squad announced by the national selectors on Saturday for the remaining three Test matches against England.
Kohli missed the first two Tests as well and will continue to excuse himself due to personal reasons.
“Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons.The Board fully respects and supports Kohli’s decision,” BCCI said in a statement.
The national selection committee has named senior players Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul in the squad, pending clearance from the BCCI’s medical team. Both players are nursing injuries, with Jadeja suffering from a hamstring issue and Rahul experiencing a slight right quadricep niggle.
“The participation of Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul is subject to fitness clearance from the BCCI medical team,” the BCCI statement added.
However, the medical status of senior batter Shreyas Iyer, who has been left out of the squad due to groin and lower back stiffness, remains undisclosed by the BCCI.
It is speculated that Iyer would likely have been dropped regardless of his injury, making the selectors’ decision more straightforward.
The 17-man squad features one new face in Bengal speedster Akash Deep, who has been rewarded for his consistent performances in first-class cricket and the recent India A vs England Lions Test series.
Left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar has been omitted from the squad to accommodate the return of Jadeja, while pacer Mohammed Siraj replaces Avesh Khan in the lineup. Siraj’s inclusion bolsters the pace bowling department, providing additional depth to the Indian bowling attack.
The five-match series is level at 1-1, and the third Test starts in Rajkot from February 15.
India Squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul*, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (wk), KS Bharat (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja*, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep

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(With inputs from PTI)

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