The wait to see Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja back in India’s Test squad for the series against England could take longer than expected as both are likely to be out longer than expected. Kohli, who withdrew from the first two Tests against England, is apparently not in the country, while Jadeja’s hamstring injury is a lot worse than expected, clearly putting India’s campaign in the ongoing five-Test series against England in jeopardy. India, already trailing 0-1, did not have Kohli for the first Test in Hyderabad and will be without Jadeja and KL Rahul for the second Test starting in Visakhapatnam. But as it turns out, it will take a while before the two superstars feature in India’s Playing XI as reported by Cricbuzz.
First Kohli. The former India captain mysteriously withdrew three days before the start of the series opener citing personal reasons. The BCCI, in a release mentioned that he had spoken to captain Rohit Sharma and that his privacy be maintained. Ever since, there’s been nothing but a prolonged long hush around Kohli. In between, reports emerged that his mother Saroj might not have been keeping well but they were dismissed as ‘fake news’ by Virat’s elder brother Vikas Kohli.
However, the recent development reported by CB stated that Kohli is currently outside the country, so even though there is a long way before the third Test gets underway on February 15 – there is a nine-day gap between Day 5 of the second Test and Day of the third – Kohli may or may not be back in time for the Rajkot game.
As for Jadeja, the injured hamstring is painting a worrisome picture. It was assumed that Jadeja’s hammy would recover in time for the third Test but the moment the all-rounder shared a picture of himself at the NCA, you knew he was gone for good. The latest on Jadeja emerging is that he is all but out of the third Test, and remains a doubtful starter for the fourth as well. A long string of injuries has been pulling Jadeja down since the beginning of 2021 and 2024 couldn’t have begun on a more despairing note for the India all-rounder.
Mohammed Shami’s progress halted
Another injury-hit bowler Mohammed Shami has apparently made no or very limited progress on his ankle injury. Shami is currently in London and taking injections to beat it but in order to recover completely a surgery hasn’t been ruled out. In the present scenario, the chances of Shami taking any part in this Test series is nil, but whether he recovers in time for the IPL is something his team Punjab Kings would be hoping for.
The only positive among this if any is Rahul. Having complained of pain on his right quadriceps, Rahul is on track to making a full recovery and will be available for the third Test in Rajkot. The injury is believed to be related to the thigh injury Rahul endured in June of 2022, and the BCCI is taking every precautionary measure, doing everything to ensure proper precautions are taken. Rahul, pretty much like Jadeja is also at the NCA but is making good progress.