Virat-Kohli. (Photo Source: X/Twitter)
Virat Kohli has returned to the Indian cricket squad in preparation for the upcoming Test against South Africa on December 26. His recent absence, initially speculated as a sudden departure for a family emergency, was a planned trip to London. Both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the team management were informed about his travel plans, clarifying his absence from the Pretoria inter-squad game from December 20 to 22.
Kohli had engaged in three days of training with the team before departing to London from South Africa on December 19. Having joined the team initially on December 15, he is back in the fold for the crucial Boxing Day Test. His presence will add depth and experience to the squad, marking his readiness for the upcoming series against South Africa.
“Virat Kohli wasn’t going to play that game. The team management was aware of his plan and schedule, and it isn’t something which happened overnight or due to a family emergency. Look at the player in question, it’s Virat Kohli. He is very well planned when it comes to these things and his London trip was communicated and planned well in advance,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by News18.
“Kohli left India for South Africa on December 15. Had good 3-4 training sessions before he went to London on December 19. For the next few days, he was in London and has now linked up with the Test squad and will in all likelihood train in Centurion tomorrow,” the official added.
Series of setbacks for Team India ahead of Test assignment
Ahead of the much-anticipated opening Test of the series at Centurion, the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team has scheduled training sessions on December 24 in the morning and December 25 in the afternoon. As the team gears up, their focus will shift to Cape Town on December 31, gearing up for the second Test at Newlands from January 3.
India will face setbacks as Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan, and Ruturaj Gaikwad won’t be part of the series. Shami’s fitness concerns kept him out as he failed to receive clearance from the BCCI Medical Team. Meanwhile, Kishan opted for a break, withdrawing from the squad, and Gaikwad’s injury sustained during the second ODI against South Africa ruled him out of contention. These absences create opportunities for others to step up and fill the void in the Indian squad for this crucial series.