Kohli’s Absence: Impact on Rajkot and Ranchi Tests

  • Doubts persist on Kohli’s availability for the fifth Test in Dharmasala
  • Selectors to consider Kohli’s absence while picking India squad for final three Tests
  • KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja’s fitness being monitored for the third Test
  • Mohammed Siraj set to make a comeback for the Rajkot Test
  • Jasprit Bumrah likely to play in the Rajkot Test


The absence of Virat Kohli, one of India’s most influential cricketers, in the ongoing England series is poised to continue as he is expected to miss the third and fourth Tests in Rajkot and Ranchi, respectively. In addition, doubts also persist on Kohli’s availability for the fifth Test in Dharmasala, which starts from March 7. The selectors will take this into account when they convene this week to finalize the India squad for the final three Tests. Kohli withdrew from the first two Tests for “personal reasons,” and speculation about his return has been rife since then.

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Kohli’s Absence and Selection Considerations

It was on January 22, just three days before the England series began, that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced Kohli’s withdrawal from the opening Tests due to “personal reasons.” While the BCCI has not provided any further updates on the matter, it emphasized that Kohli’s personal situations demand his immediate attention. As the selectors prepare to pick the India squad for the final three Tests, they will take into account Kohli’s uncertain availability for the fifth Test as well.

Rahul and Jadeja’s Fitness Updates

Among the players who missed the second Test, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja’s fitness is currently being monitored at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. The NCA physio’s final report is awaited, but the outlook for both players is positive. With the third Test still a week away, there is optimism that at least one, if not both, of Rahul and Jadeja will be fit and available for selection.

Siraj’s Comeback and Bumrah’s Workload Management

Fast bowler Mohammed Siraj, who was rested for the second Test due to workload concerns, is set to make a comeback for the Rajkot Test. His return will bolster India’s bowling line-up, which heavily relied on the brilliance of Jasprit Bumrah to secure victory in the second Test. Bumrah, who recently returned from a stress fracture of the back, is likely to play in the Rajkot Test, although managing his workload will be a consideration for the team management.


As Virat Kohli’s absence in the England series is expected to be extended, with doubts surrounding his availability for the final Test as well, the selectors face a challenging task in finalizing the India squad for the remaining Tests. The fitness updates on KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja bring hope for their return to strengthen the team. The return of Mohammed Siraj and the potential inclusion of Jasprit Bumrah add further excitement to the upcoming Tests. The Indian team’s performance in the series will undoubtedly be influenced by these key players’ availability and performance.

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