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Updated January 23rd, 2024 at 19:54 IST

Virat Kohli arrived in Hyderabad for practice; fueling speculations regarding his withdrawal

The last time Virat Kohli withdrew from a Test series was back in 2021 during the Australia series when Anushka Sharma gave birth to Vamika.

Vishal Tiwari
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma | Image:PTI
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Virat Kohli's recent actions between Sunday and Monday (January 21 and 22) exceeded the usual realm of predictability about the veteran India batsman who usually wears his heart on his sleeves. The former India captain unexpectedly withdrew from the first two Tests of the highly anticipated England series, citing personal reasons. In an official statement, the BCCI disclosed that Kohli had informed captain Rohit Sharma, the team management, and the selection committee before taking his leave.

3 things you need to know

  • Virat Kohli's decision to withdraw from the England Test series shocked everyone
  • He was slated to attend the Ram Mandir consecration in Ayodhya on Monday
  • But his absence surprised everyone and the BCCI later informed that he taken leave

Also Read: 'They won’t tire me out, I could get heaps': Bumrah set to clobber ENG's Bazball in Test series

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Virat Kohli withdraws from England Tests

Arriving in Hyderabad on Saturday night, Virat Kohli joined the rest of India's Test squad, gearing up for the upcoming series. On Sunday, during the team's practice session, Kohli displayed his customary intensity and aggression. Little did anyone suspect the something was going on inside his head.

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The next day, as India commenced their morning training, Kohli was conspicuously absent. He was supposed to attend the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya. However, the BCCI announced his exclusion from the squad for the Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam Tests in the afternoon.

"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," the BCCI statement read. 

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"The BCCI requested the media and fans to respect Virat Kohli's privacy during this time and refrain from speculating on the nature of his personal reasons. The focus should remain on supporting the Indian cricket team as they embark on the upcoming challenges in the Test series."

Whatever the underlying reason, it was significant enough to keep him away from Test cricket because Kohli is the kind of player who hardly takes leave from the red-ball format. Regardless of the cause, he maintained a shroud of secrecy, leaving everyone in the dark about his thoughts. 

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Published January 23rd, 2024 at 18:28 IST

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