The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has informed that Virat Kohli will play the upcoming One Day International series against South Africa. Several sources in the board, including a couple of office-bearers, have said to Cricbuzz that they have not received any request from the India Test captain to be excused for the ODI series next month as well. However, the three-match Test series will start on January 19.
“There is no truth in reports of Virat skipping the ODIs,” said a top BCCI official, while informed sources about Virat Kohli’s addition, saying, “He is a totally committed cricketer and there is no doubt about his participation.”
However, Virat Kohli has been sacked from the leadership role of the 50-over format and Rohit Sharma has been given the post after naming him the T20 captain as well. Although there is no official confirmation came yet, it is expected that Kohli will clarify on Wednesday (December 15), when the BCCI has slated the customary pre-tour media conference.
On the other hand, Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the Test series after he has ‘sustained a left hamstring injury’ during a training session in Mumbai recently. However, he is being monitored by the physios and there is uncertainty over his participation in the ODI series as well. And, the board has named Priyank Panchal as his replacement. After receiving his maiden call-up to the Test team for the South Africa series, Priyank Panchal has said that he has been waiting for this opportunity for several years, and he is honoured to be donning the blue jersey.
“It was just three days back that I returned home from South Africa. I hadn’t even unpacked properly, and now, I find myself landing in Mumbai (to join the Team India bio-bubble),” Panchal told the Times of India in an interview. “I’ve been doing well since the last few years for Gujarat and India ‘A’, and I’ve been waiting for this chance for many years, but I didn’t expect to get this chance. This is a pleasant surprise.”
“It’s natural to feel a bit low after not getting a chance while I was scoring so many runs. However, my personality is such that I was always thinking: ‘What am I lacking now as a batsman? If I want to play for India, then what should I do to become more impactful? What kind of a game is required in international cricket? I’m glad that all my hard work and persistence have finally paid off. The experience of having played in South Africa recently will surely help me. I’m glad I’ve played for India ‘A’ for the last four-five years. That’s a big stage where I’ve played most of the international bowlers,” Priyank Panchal concluded.