Madhya Pradesh’s prolific batter Rajat Patidar was on Thursday named as a replacement for India’s batting mainstay Virat Kohli for the first two Tests against England. “Rajat Patidar has joined the team as Virat Kohli’s replacement for the first two Tests against England,” the BCCI said in the announcement. Kohli had decided to make himself unavailable for the first two Tests of the five-match series due to “personal reasons”.

The 30-year-old, who is fresh from scoring 111 and 151 in India A’s fixture against England Lions, however, will have to wait for his Test debut.

The Rohit Sharma-led side opted for a three-pronged spin attack, including left-arm spinner Axar Patel in the opening Test in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Patidar recently made his international debut in an ODI against South Africa in Paarl, where he scored 22 opening the innings, The BCCI announcement also mentioned that fast bowler Avesh Khan has been released to represent his Ranji trophy team, Madhya Pradesh, in their next Ranji Trophy fixture. 

India’s squad for first two Tests against England: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Rajat Patidar

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