Updated February 21st, 2024 at 16:48 IST

'Virat bhai is not with us': Shubman Gill reveals big positive for India in IND vs ENG Test series

Virat Kohli hasn't played in the ongoing India vs England series due to personal reasons. The reason behind his long absence from India was revealed on Tuesday.

IND vs ENG: Shubman Gill talks about Virat Kohli's absence | Image:BCCI/PTI
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Virat Kohli hasn't played in the ongoing India vs England Test series due to personal reasons. The reason behind his long absence from Team India was revealed on Tuesday as Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma announced the birth of their newborn son Akaay. India missed Kohli in the first IND vs ENG Test that they lost. However, it has also resulted in a positive for the Rohit Sharma-led side. 

Many youngsters like Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan have got chances to perform in the series. While Sarfaraz grabbed it with both hands, Patidar might have missed the boat. Kohli will continue to miss the series and it will be up to the young Indian cricketers to step in his absence.

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IND vs ENG: Shubman Gill on Virat Kohli's absence has helped India

Indian batter Shubman Gill also felt the same as he said that the absence of experienced players like Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah has been viewed as a perfect chance by a clutch of young players to prove their mettle at the biggest stage. Gill offered Sarfaraz Khan, who made twin fifties in his debut Test at Rajkot, as an example.

"Virat bhai is not with us for the last three Tests, and yes, the absence of a player of his class makes a bit of difference. But I think Sarfaraz came in and played well. So, I think players are doing well in the opportunities that they are getting." The Punjab man also said there was a certain level of desperation in the aspirants to perform because they might lose their place once the first-choice players return.

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"The young players have got the opportunity because Virat bhai or Bumrah bhai are not there. So, those youngsters also know that this opportunity might not remain with them for long, so they are trying to give their best in every opportunity," he noted.

Yashasvi Jaiswal was one such player who grabbed his opportunity with both hands here.

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Opening the innings, Jaiswal has so far has made 546 runs, including successive double hundreds, to top the run-makers' chart in this rubber.

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India vs England: Shubman Gill disagrees with Rohit Sharma's advice to Jaiswal

After the second match at Visakhapatnam, skipper Rohit Sharma had hoped that Jaiswal would remain humble and build on this brilliant start to his career.

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However, Gill, took a slightly different view and said as long as someone like Jaiswal can contribute to the team, the attitude should not come under focus.

"I don't think there is any problem with youngsters not being humble. You know, if you don't have it (talent) then you will not be scoring back-to-back double hundreds.

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"Not many in world cricket have scored back-to-back double hundreds. He definitely is a sensational player. We have seen it over the eight or nine Tests," he added. PTI UNG AT AT

IND vs ENG 4th Test: Gill lauds pacers

The pitches might not have been entirely in their favour, but the Indian pacers' ability to strike at vital situations has made a sea of difference in the Test series against England, reckons Gill.

The four spinners – R Ashwin (11), Ravindra Jadeja (12), Kuldeep Yadav (8) and Axar Patel (5) – together have taken 36 wickets across three matches as compared to 22 by pacers so far.

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So, the numbers might be favouring the tweakers, but Gill said the pacemen bowled well according to the conditions to keep their side ahead.

"Wherever we play in India, wickets help spinners a bit. Ash bhai and Jaddu bhai will take wickets anyway, but the way our fast bowlers have bowled, it has made the difference in this series," said Gill during a media interaction ahead of fourth Test, starting Friday.

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However, India will be without Jasprit Bumrah for the Ranchi Test as the premier pacer has been given rest as part of the workload management.

He has so far taken 17 wickets from three Tests to lead the chart for India.

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But Gill said the other Indian pacers have enough experience in these conditions to make an impact, citing the example of Mohammed Siraj's four-wicket haul at Rajkot.

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"Like I talked about Virat bhai, if a player in the class of Boom bhai is not playing, any team will miss him, especially since he leads our fast-bowling attack. But if you look at it, Siraj took four wickets in crucial times in the last match.

"So, I think, all the pacers have enough experience in Indian conditions, especially bowling reverse swing," said Gill.

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(with PTI inputs)

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Published February 21st, 2024 at 16:44 IST