Indian star cricketer Virat Kohli has reportedly taken an indefinite break from the T20Is and One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
Kohli has informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he would not be available for selection in the white-ball formats. This rules him out of the white-ball leg of India's upcoming South Africa tour and the subsequent three-match T20I series against Afghanistan in January.
The in-form batter wants to concentrate on Tests as of now and will not play the ODI and T20I series in South Africa, a source close to the BCCI told the Indian media outlet Indian Express.
"He (Kohli) has informed the BCCI and selectors that he needs a break from white-ball cricket and he will get back to them about when he wants to play white-ball cricket next. At the moment he has informed the BCCI that he will be playing red-ball cricket, which means he is available for selection for the two Test matches in South Africa," the source said.
India's tour of South Africa is scheduled to kickstart on Dec. 10, with the three-match T20I series. The matches will be played in Durban, Gqeberha (Dec. 12) and Johannesburg (Dec. 14). This will be followed by three ODIs – Johannesburg (Dec. 17), Gqeberha (Dec. 19) and Paarl (Dec. 21).
Kohli will return to the Indian side for the Test series against South Africa, with the first Test being the Boxing Day game, starting on Dec. 26 at SuperSport Park, Centurion. The second Test is a New Year's fixture and will start on Jan. 3 at Newlands, Cape Town.
The 35-year-old batter recently became the first cricketer to complete 50 centuries in the ODIs, surpassing the previous record of 49 hundreds that India legend Sachin Tendulkar held. Kohli achieved the historic feat during the recently-concluded ICC Cricket World Cup, where India won 10 consecutive games before a heartbreaking loss in the final to Australia.
Kohli finished as the leading run-scorer with 765 runs in 11 matches at a mind-boggling average of 95.62. He scored three centuries and six fifties in the tournament.
Meanwhile, it also remains uncertain whether India captain Rohit Sharma will be available for the ODIs and T20Is for the South Africa tour. Sharma was just behind Kohli in the runs chart at the World Cup, with 597 runs in 11 matches. Both players are currently in the United Kingdom enjoying a break after the World Cup.
The BCCI will announce India's squad for their upcoming tour of South Africa on Thursday.