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Updated February 1st, 2024 at 16:38 IST

Why Virat Kohli's absence is blessing in disguise for these two India stars?

While Team India felt the absence of Virat Kohli in the first Test, it appears to be a fortuitous turn of events for two specific Indian players.

Vishal Tiwari
Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli | Image:AP
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India and England are currently facing off in a five-match Test series, with the second game scheduled to commence on February 2. In the opening Test, seasoned Indian batsman Virat Kohli was absent due to personal reasons and will also be missing out on the second match. Kohli is anticipated to make his comeback to the team starting from the third Test onwards. While Team India felt the absence of Kohli in the first Test, it appears to be a fortuitous turn of events for two specific Indian players. Let's delve into this in more detail.

3 things you need to know

  • The BCCI announced on January 22 that Virat Kohli will miss out on the first two Tests
  • Is Rajat Patidar was named Kohli's replacement for the Hyderabad game
  • However, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer are making the most of Kohli's absence

Also Read: 'Rohit completely switched off, Under Virat's captaincy..': Michael Vaughan's blunt verdict on India

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Is Virat Kohli's absence a blessing in disguise for Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer?

It's a plausible scenario. If Virat Kohli hadn't opted out of the first two Tests against England, there was a possibility that either Shubman Gill or Shreyas Iyer could have been on the chopping block to accommodate Rajat Patidar. The unexpected injury sidelining KL Rahul has further solidified the positions of Gill and Iyer in the playing XI. 

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Both players have struggled to make an impact in Test cricket, and in the presence of a fully fit Kohli, the team management might have considered dropping either of them to provide an opportunity for Rajat Patidar to debut. The inclusion of Sarfaraz Khan in the squad for the second Test also adds to the competition, especially after India's disappointing 28-run loss in the first game.

It will be interesting to see for how long Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer can hold up to their spots in the Test-playing XI. Players like Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan have been knocking the selectors' doors for the past couple of years and it's about time they are tested against the best in the world. 

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 16:38 IST

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