Virat Kohli could play no part in England’s series against India.
The former India captain withdrew from the first two Tests for personal reasons and it now looks certain Kohli’s absence will be extended to at least the third Test in Rajkot next week and the fourth in Ranchi. There is no certainly he will make it for the fifth in Dharamsala either.
It is a huge blow for a series that has begun with two highly entertaining Tests that have seen the series tied at 1-1 before a break until the third starts on February 15.
Kohli had arrived in Hyderabad three days before the start of the series but pulled out on the same day as it became clear he had a family issue to attend to.
He remains one of the best and most charismatic players in world cricket and his absence will be sorely missed by everyone involved even if it does leave India’s batting vulnerable and the side lacking his dynamism in the field.
Virat Kohli could play no part in India’s series against England after missing the first two Tests
Kohli arrived in Hyderabad three days before the start of the series but pulled out on the same day
It is a huge blow for a series that has begun with two highly entertaining Tests
England’s Harry Brook is unlikely to play any part as he gives attention to his own family issue
Better news for India ahead of the announcement of their squad for the third Test which will come either Thursday or Friday is that KL Rahul, who missed the second Test with a thigh problem, is expected to be fit for Rajkot.
There may even be a return for left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja for the third Test even though the hamstring problem he suffered while being run out by Ben Stokes during the first Test was expected to keep him out of the series.
England have their own problems and it remains highly unlikely that Harry Brook will play any part in the series as he continues to give his full attention to his own family issue.
Jack Leach, meanwhile, remains a doubt for Rajkot with the knee problem that ruled him out of the second Test in Visakhapatnam.