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India's Virat Kohli has pulled out of the first two Tests against England. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Talismanic Indian batter Virat Kohli has pulled out of the first two Tests of the IDFC First Bank Test series against England, citing personal reasons.

“Virat Kohli has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to be withdrawn from the first two Tests of the series. Virat has spoken to Captain Rohit Sharma, the team management and the selectors and has emphasised that while representing the country has always been his top priority, certain personal situations demand his presence and undivided attention,” said a press release from the BCCI.

“The BCCI respects his decision and the Board and team management has extended its support to the star batter and is confident in the abilities of the remaining squad members to step up and deliver commendable performances in the Test series.”

Respect Kohli's privacy

The BCCI also requested the media and fans to respect Kohli’s privacy during this time and refrain from speculating on the nature of his personal reasons.

“The focus should remain on supporting the Indian cricket team as they embark on the upcoming challenges in the Test series. The Men’s Selection Committee will name a replacement soon,” it added.

The first Test begins in Hyderabad on Januray 25 and the second Test will be held at Visakhapatnam from February 2.