Virat Kohli not playing: The Indian captain has opted to not take the field in the one-off practice match against County Championship XI.
During the one-off practice match between County Championship XI and India in Durham, India captain Rohit Sharma has won the toss and chose to bat.
With opening batsman Shubman Gill set to miss a large chunk of the upcoming five-match Test series, Mayank Agarwal has been included as Sharma’s opening partner for this match. Agarwal’s last first-class match was the historic Gabba Test between Australia and India earlier this year.
Why is Virat Kohli not playing warm-up match vs County Championship XI?
A couple of significant omissions for the visitors lie in regular captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane not playing this match. It was after the lunch break that BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) provided reasons as to why the senior duo is resting today.
“Captain Virat Kohli felt some stiffness in his back on late Monday evening and he has been advised rest from the three-day first-class warm-up game by the BCCI Medical Team. Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has mild swelling around his left upper hamstring. This has been addressed by an injection. He is not available for the three-day first-class warm-up game,” BCCI said in a statement.
Another senior batsman in Cheteshwar Pujara has been included in the Playing XI. Given his lack of big scores in the last two years, India would be hoping for Pujara to make the most of this match.
Quite surprising, Virat and Rahane aren’t playing in the Indians vs County XI game. Can understand why Shami and Ashwin aren’t but Virat and Rahane???
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) July 20, 2021
As far as additional responsibility is concerned, batsman Lokesh Rahul will be seen in a rare role of keeping wickets in a first-class match in the absence of regular wicket-keeper batsmen in Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha.
Pant, who is recovering from COVID-19, will have to return a couple of negative tests before joining the squad in Durham. Saha, on the other hand, was a potential close contact to support staff member Dayanand Garani.
India Playing XI – Rohit Sharma (c), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, KL Rahul (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj.