Former India skipper Virat Kohli missed the first Test against England and will remain unavailable for the second game in Vizag as well given he had withdrawn from the first two matches citing personal reasons. There has been a lot of conjecture regarding what that personal reason could be even though the BCCI in its statement categorically urged everyone not to speculate. One such social media claimed on Tuesday, January 30 that Kohli’s mother’s health has been deteriorating and was admitted in the hospital for the same, but the cricketer’s brother has refuted any such claim.
On Wednesday, January 31, Vikas Kohli took to Instagram to urge the fans and the media to not spread any such information without proper details. “Hello everyone, I have noticed that there is this fake news about our mom’s health has been circulating around. Let me clear that our mom is absolutely fit and fine. Also, I would request everyone and also the media, not to spread such news without proper information,” wrote Vikas in a post.
“The BCCI 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 BCCI had said in a statement while announcing Kohli’s withdrawal.
Kohli’s absence was felt dearly by the Indian team in the series opener against England in Hyderabad given how the middle-order played, especially in the second innings. KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja did well but both are unavailable for the second Test and the lean patch of Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer are a real concern for the hosts going into the Vizag clash.
Will India play two debutants in the same match? That is the selection conundrum hovering over the Indian team management as the hosts eye a series-levelling win after England won the Hyderabad game by 28 runs, coming back from a 190-run deficit in the first innings.