India vs England: Virat Kohli could miss entire series as Jasprit Bumrah faces Third Test rest

India’s Virat Kohli could miss the remainder of the Test series against England, with his side also mulling over whether to rest Jasprit Bumrah for next week's Third Test.

The influential Kohli had initially ruled himself out of the opening two matches of the five-match series for personal reasons. It has since transpired that he is expected to be ruled out of the Rajkot Test, which gets under way a week today, and the Fourth Test the following week.

His participation in the final match of a thrilling series at the beginning of next month also reportedly hangs in the balance, although no statement has been forthcoming from the Board of Control for Cricket in India over his potential availability for the remainder of the series.

Kohli's experience and run-scoring — he has amassed his 8,848 Test runs in 113 internationals at an average just shy of 50 — has already been a big miss for the home side.

Virat Kohli will miss the first four Tests of the five-Test series (REUTERS)
Virat Kohli will miss the first four Tests of the five-Test series (REUTERS)

The hosts are facing a double setback for the Third Test, as selectors consider whether to keep Bumrah out of the starting XI in a bid to manage the 30-year-old's workload.

The fast bowler underwent surgery on his back last year and India's management are reluctant to risk a further setback for such an influential player, despite a 10-day gap between the end of the Second Test and the beginning of the next.

The player and coaching staff will also be conscious long term of the looming Indian Premier League and the T20 World Cup at the beginning of June.

Bumrah was the architect of his side levelling the series in Vizag on Monday, taking nine wickets over the four days with a masterclass in pace bowling and curtailing England to sub-300-run scores in both their innings, as India won by 106 runs.

Jasprit Bumrah celebrates during the Second Test (Getty Images)
Jasprit Bumrah celebrates during the Second Test (Getty Images)

Should Bumrah be rested for the Third Test, it is expected his place will be taken by Mohammed Siraj, before returning for the final two matches of the series.

Bumrah aside, spin bowling has dominated a tight series to date. Pace bowling is unlikely to make many inroads in the series until the Fifth Test in Dharamasala. India are keen to give Siraj game time with a view to a dual pace attack with Bumrah for what could yet prove the series decider.

India's pace options are limited by injury to Mohammed Shami, who proved the star bowler at last year's World Cup. He took 24 wickets in just seven appearances at an average of just over 10.

Shami has been nursing an ankle injury, for which he is currently receiving treatment, and he is highly doubtful to play any role in the series, the final match of which begins on March 7.

India's other injury headaches have involved batter Kannanur Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who were both ruled out of the Second Test with quad and hamstring injuries respectively. Both are expected to be in the mix for Rajkot.