Virat Kohli set to miss third and fourth Tests against England injured players in running to return | REPORT

In a significant twist to the ongoing cricket saga, Indian cricket stalwart Virat Kohli is reportedly poised to be absent for the upcoming third and fourth Tests in the gripping five-match series against England. Fans have already felt Kohli’s absence in the initial two Tests of the series, attributed to personal reasons, and it seems the wait to see him back on the pitch is likely to be extended.

The whispers of Kohli’s continued absence became more concrete following a revelation from ESPNCricinfo. Not only is Kohli expected to miss out on the forthcoming Tests in Rajkot and Ranchi, but doubts are swirling regarding his availability for the series finale. This development has been a curveball for many supporters looking forward to witnessing his trademark batting prowess.

Despite this setback, the Indian team is buoyed by the prospect of welcoming back two vital cogs from their injury roster. Both Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul, who sat out of the second Test, due to hamstring and quadriceps issues respectively, are on the verge of making a much-anticipated return for the Rajkot match, slated to take place after a week’s interval.

The optimism in the Indian camp hinges on the duo gaining the necessary medical clearance, with their rehabilitation being closely monitored at the National Cricket Academy. It’s a race against time, and the Indian selectors are keeping a keen eye on the pair’s fitness progress.

This week, the selectors are also expected to convene to make a pivotal decision by naming the squad for the remainder of the Test series. As the Indian team prepares to face the crucial midway junction of the series, these decisions could prove decisive in maintaining their momentum or turning the tide in their favor.

In another development poised to spark enthusiasm amongst fans and team members alike, pacer Mohammed Siraj, who was rested during the second Test in Visakhapatnam, is almost guaranteed to make his return in the third Test. In Siraj’s absence, Mukesh Kumar stepped in to fill the void. However, Siraj’s potential return promises to inject an additional dose of pace into the Indian bowling lineup, which has deployed a strategy of two pacers complemented by a trio of spinners.

The third Test of the series, scheduled to commence on February 15, looms large as a substantial phase of the competition, coming ten days after the conclusion of the second Test on February 5. The upcoming contest will unfold at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, with an impending name change to honor Niranjan Shah. Action will then shift to the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi for the fourth Test beginning February 23, it is sure to be a gripping encounter as the teams dig deep to secure the upper hand.

As the series climax approaches, the final test is set to be hosted by the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in picturesque Dharamsala, commencing March 7. Amid the evolving team dynamic and shifting strategies, the series is shaping into an engrossing display of Test cricket at its finest. With key players like Kohli on the sidelines and the return of hurt players like Jadeja and Rahul hanging in the balance, the Indian squad faces a test of depth and adaptability as it aims for triumph against a resilient English side.

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