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Virat Kohli Joins Indian Team For South Africa Test Series After London Trip

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Virat Kohli has joined the Indian team for the Test series against South Africa. Kohli flew to London due to a family emergency earlier this week, however, he was set to return back ahead of the 1st Test, set to get underway at the SuperSport Park in Centurion on December 26. The reason why Virat Kohli went to London is not clear yet but it is understood that the ace India batter secured permission from the board before flying.

“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,” says a senior BCCI official.

“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,” adds the official.

Kohli will be key for India as they look to secure their maiden test series win in South Africa. India came close to winning the series in the last tour when they took a 1-0 lead but lost the following two games to concede the series.

India will have a golden chance of winning the series in 2023 against a South African team that is going through transition. The team has already won the ODI series 2-1 and tied the T20I series 1-1 on the tour.

With no Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the squad, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will have a huge responsibility of carrying the new look Indian batting. Virat Kohli has a great record in South Africa, having scored 719 runs in 14 innings at an average of over 50, including two centuries and three fifties. Indian captain Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, will look to improve his numbers in the rainbow nation. Rohit has scored a mere 123 runs in 4 Tests in South Africa.

Meanwhile, India have been dealt with a big blow ahead of the Test series as star pacer Mohammed Shami and batter Ruturaj Gaikwad have been ruled out of the series. Abhimanyu Easwaran has replaced Gaikwad in the Test squad. Also, wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan has opted out of the series due to mental fatigue, with KS Bharat replacing him in the squad.

India Test squad for IND vs SA Test Series: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Abhimanyu Easwaran, KL Rahul (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Prasidh Krishna, KS Bharat (wk)

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