'Great opportunity for him' - Fans react as Rajat Patidar set to replace Virat Kohli for first two Tests vs England

According to sources, Team India has called up star cricketer Rajat Patidar, with Virat Kohli opting to miss the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons.

Sarah Andrew
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Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar (Source - Twitter)

Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar (Source - Twitter)

According to sources, India's star cricketer Rajat Patidar is the replacement for batting stalwart Virat Kohli, who will miss the first two Tests of the upcoming India vs. England 2024 series due to "personal reasons." Notably, the series is set to start on January 25 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad. The Indore-born cricketer has been added to the India squad and also attended the Indian Cricket Board Awards in Hyderabad on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.

The 30-year-old Patidar has been on the run lately. In addition, the stylish right-handed batter most recently scored a blazing century (151 off 158 balls) for India 'A' in Ahmedabad during the first unofficial Test against the England Lions. The RCB stalwart also smashed a tonne in the warm-up fixture against the Lions and toured South Africa in December 2023 with the A side.

Earlier, sources revealed that Virat Kohli had words with Indian captain Rohit Sharma and selectors about pulling out of the first two Test games. However, the Indian Cricket Board has allowed him to take the break as well as urged fans and media to give Virat Kohli privacy and not spectaulate or spread false rumours about him.

The Board requests the media and fans to respect Virat Kohli's privacy during this time: Report

"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 statement from Jay Shah, Indian Cricket Board's honorary secretary, read.

"The Board requests 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," the statement reads further.

India Squad for first two Tests vs England: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rajat Patidar (replaces Virat Kohli), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Avesh Khan.

Check here how fans have reacted about this news: