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Updated January 24th, 2024 at 14:27 IST

BCCI name rising star as Virat Kohli's replacement for first Test, Cheteshwar Pujara misses out

BCCI selects Rajat Patidar as Virat Kohli's replacement for the first 2 Tests against England at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Aryan Suraj Chadha
Virat Kohli celebrates wicket
Virat Kohli celebrates wicket | Image:Disney Hotstar
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India will face England in the first of five Test matches at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium from January 25th to 29th. Both teams have strong squads, with key players like Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah for India and solid performers like Joe Root and Ben Stokes for England set to feature. However, India will miss their star batter, Virat Kohli, who is out of the first two Tests against England due to ‘personal reasons’ and is reported to be replaced by another RCB star. 

3 things you need to know 

  • First Test of India vs England will be played on January 25, 2024 
  • Virat Kohli will miss the first 2 Tests 
  • Kohli is out of action owing to some personal commitments 

Also Read: BIG injury scare in Team India! Iyer sustains wrist injury before Tests

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IND vs ENG: Rajat Patidar has replaced Virat Kohli for the first two Tests against England

India and England will play a five-match Test series, with the first red-ball match to be played in Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Prior to the commencement of the series on Thursday, January 25, India released an important squad announcement. The renowned batting sensation Virat Kohli, who withdrew from the first two Test matches due to personal reasons, will be replaced in the 16-man team by Rajat Patidar, a 30-year-old standout for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), according to a report from CricBuzz.

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Rajat Patidar made his India ODI debut against South Africa at Paarl on December 21, 2023, and he has since displayed outstanding form. Earlier this month, he made two century in a row against the England Lions, which is noteworthy. He was selected for the India Test team for the first time owing to his outstanding performances over Mumbai batsman Sarfaraz Khan, former vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, and Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara.

Even though Patidar opened the innings in both his ODI debut and India A's match against the England Lions, he is most likely to be included in the middle order if chosen for the playing XI. He has played in 55 first-class matches and scored 4000 runs at a very good average of 45.97. The right-hander Patidar showed off his skills in a two-day practice match in Ahmedabad on January 12 and 13, hitting 111 runs for India A against the England Lions. He maintained his excellent form in the first unofficial Test match against the England Lions, scoring 151 runs off ‌158 balls in the first innings.

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Also Read: IND vs ENG: Rahul Dravid gives a sneak-peak of Team India's intentions

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IND updated squad for the first 2 Tests against ENG

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

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Published January 24th, 2024 at 10:30 IST

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