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Ind vs Eng: Kohli unavailable; Rahul and Jadeja back in the India squad for the final three tests; What does it mean for India?

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BCCI has announced the India Squad for the remaining three tests against England in the ongoing 5-match test series amidst all the anticipation of whether Virat Kohli will be back for these 3 tests or Rahul, and Jadeja will recover from their respective injuries or not. The third test match is scheduled to begin on February 15, ’24.

Due to personal reasons, Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for the remaining 3 Test matches against England. The BCCI respected the decision, considering how important family obligations are. Although KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja are part of the squad, their chances to play depend on their fitness clearance and match readiness. Shreyas Iyer will be missing out in the remainder of the series due to stiffness in the back and since he has had problems in the back in the past, it would work well for him. Akash Deep of Royal Challengers Bangalore, meanwhile, has earned a maiden call-up for India in place of Avesh Khan, giving the already youthful roster a younger edge. Mohammed Siraj, who was rested from the second Test in Visakhapatnam, is picked in the squad. While Mukesh Kumar has retained his spot, Saurabh Kumar has been released from the squad following the return of Ravindra Jadeja.

India squad for the final three Tests: Rohit Sharma (c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Sarfaraz Khan, Rajat Patidar, Ravindra Jadeja, KS Bharat (wk), Dhruv Jurel (wk), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep

The series is currently tied at 1-1. The return of Rahul and Jadeja will provide that much-needed solidarity in the middle order which was grossly missing in the second test match. Notably, Rahul and Jadeja were among the top scorers for India in the first test match in Hyderabad.

Most Runs in Rajkot in Test Matches: The absence of Virat Kohli from the Rajkot test would mean missing out on the joint most prolific batter on the Rajkot wicket. Virat Kohli accumulated 228 runs in two matches at an average of 114. The former India captain has also slammed one hundred in the test match against West Indies at this venue in 2018. Pujara shares the record with Kohli as the highest run-getter in Rajkot in test cricket.

Last test between India and England in Rajkot: The last test match played between India and England in Rajkot in 2016 ended in a draw. The match witnessed 6 players from both teams hitting the centuries. In the 1st Innings, Joe Root (124), Mooen Ali (117), and Ben Stokes (128) scored centuries for England whereas Murali Vijay (126) and Cheteshwar Pujara (124) scored for India. In the second Innings, Alastair Cook (130) scored the century for England.

Most Wickets in Rajkot in Test Matches: India’s star spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, holds the record for most test wickets at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. He has picked up 9 wickets from 2 test matches at an average of 37.55 at this ground. Adil Rashid of England features second in this list with 7 wickets in the only test match that he played on this ground in 2016.

Best Individual bowling performance in Rajkot in Test Match: India’s Kuldeep Yadav holds the record for the best bowling figures in an innings of a Test at this venue in 2018. The left-arm wrist spinner returned with a brilliant figure of 5/57 to help bundle out West Indies for 196 in their second innings.

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