Former England captain and now commentator Nasser Hussain has given his support to Virat Kohli as the 35-year-old has pulled out from the entire Test series against Ben Stokes’ side.
The BCCI confirmed on Saturday that Virat Kohli, who had withdrawn from the first two Tests due to personal reasons, will also not be available for the remainder of the three Tests. It has been reported that Kohli has flown to London for a family emergency.
This also means that we won’t get to see the Virat Kohli vs James Anderson battle one more time – it would very well have been the last time given Anderson’s age.
If Virat Kohli needs a break to be away with family, then be it: Nasser Hussain
Speaking with Sky Cricket, Nasser Hussain admitted that Virat Kohli’s absence is huge, both for Team India and for Test cricket, but the commentator acknowledged that family needs to come first. Hussain pointed at the huge contributions the Delhi-born cricketer has made toward the game for the past 15 years.
Hussain said, “It will be a blow for India, the series and world cricket. It’s going to be a special series – it already has been. The first two games have been fascinating and make no mistake, Virat Kohli is one of the greatest to ever play the game and any series and any side would miss someone of the stature of Kohli.
“The game needs to look after Virat Kohli as well. He’s been playing international cricket for more than 15 years now and if he needs a break to be away with family, get some time away from the game, we absolutely wish Virat Kohli all the best. If it means we don’t get the mouth-watering possibility of an Anderson versus Kohli contest that we’ve seen over the years, then be it. But Kohli, and his family and his private life has to come first.”
Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul are named in the squad, though their participation in Rajkot is subjected to fitness clearance. If Rahul is declared fit, he would slot back at number 4, replacing Shreyas Iyer, who has been dropped from the Test squad after a lean patch. Mohammed Siraj has also returned after being rested in Vizag, and Akash Deep has been given his maiden Test call-up.