As Indian fans were recovering from the news of Rohit Sharma being injured, new reports are suggesting Virat Kohli is to opt out of the series, giving an idea that all is not well in the Indian dressing room. On December 13, BCCI announced that due to injury, Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the Indian Test team that is to play against South Africa. The Hitman from Mumbai will be replaced by Priyank Panchal, who’s already in South Africa playing for India A. It should be noted that there is no information on whether Sharma will play for the team on the subsequent ODI matches.

The development comes after Virat Kohli was replaced as Team Indian skipper ahead of the South African tour.

Background

In the last two decades, the Indian cricket team has had a unique problem in its hand – the problem of choice. Thanks to its depth and breadth, the management has never had a problem in replacing a talent with another. However, when one player has to be rested, and another has to be brought to his place, controversies as to how a different player was not picked emerge.

Moreover, alleged personality clash between two titans of the game – Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, has raised its problematic head on multiple occasions. It all started in 2019 when India lost to New Zealand at semi-final. Controversies around Rohit Sharma’s disapproval of MS Dhoni’s batting position made a lot of buzz.

In the last six months, the news of skipper Kohli stepping down as ODI and T20 captain in an unceremonious way has also led to a lot of stories and speculations being made.


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The Facts of the Matter

On Monday, the BCCI announced that Indian team opener Rohit Sharma will not be playing in the upcoming 3-Test series against South Africa. The board claimed that Sharma picked up an hamstring injury while he was at a practice session. The team will be locking horns against South Africa and the first Test is scheduled for December 26.

To say Indian Test team has suffered a major blow due to the development will be an understatement. Sharma has so far been the highest run-scorer in Tests in 2021. He has scored 906 runs in 21 innings at an impressive Test average of almost 48.

His absence will be felt all the more as India will be taking to a venue where it hasn’t won a Test series in its entire cricketing history.


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Will Priyank Panchal Be Able to Concrete His Position?

However, all hope is still not gone for the team as Sharma will be replaced by Priyank Panchal. The 31-year-old has played domestic cricket extensively and holds the record for scoring the first triple hundred for Gujarat. A Ranji maverick, he has over 7000 runs to his name in his 100 first-class games at an average of 45.52. He is also the part of India A squad that has played 3 Tests in Bloemfontein. In that particular outing he has scored 96, 24 and 0.

Meanwhile, a day after BCCI revealed Rohit Sharma will be absent for the Test teams, reports are making the rounds which claim that Virat Kohli will be not playing the subsequent ODI series.


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Virat Kohli to Not Play ODI Series Due to ‘Personal Reasons’

Cricket columnist K. Sriniwas Rao took to Twitter and spilled the beans on the development. “Hi guys… will quickly share something. Last night when I tweeted, I had heard something controversial but couldn’t share, it was because of the following reasons: 1) I heard Rohit won’t play Tests & Virat won’t play ODIs. You can imagine how shocked I was. Virat has planned a holiday with family, so he won’t play the ODIs. Remember, it’s his child’s 1st birthday month,” his tweet read.