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"Life Does Not Stop....": Aakash Chopra On Virat's Absence From Home Series Against England

12:46 PM Feb 10, 2024 IST | 8PM News Desk
 life does not stop       aakash chopra on virat s absence from home series against england
"Life Does Not Stop....": Aakash Chopra On Virat's Absence From Home Series Against England

New Delhi [India] : Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra does not think that star batter Virat Kohli's absence will cost India the ongoing home series against England, pointing out that India also registered an iconic series win in Australia back in 2020-21 without their superstar batter playing three of four Tests.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the squad for the remaining three Tests of the five-match series against England, with star batter Virat Kohli set to miss the remaining matches as well due to personal reasons. Virat had earlier missed the first two Tests. Now, his absence is extended to three more games. His last appearance came in the T20I series against Afghanistan earlier in January.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Aakash said that India will not lose the series against England in Virat's absence though his absence is being felt a lot, as reflected by the batting unit's performance.

"I would not go that far (losing the series without Virat). Let us be honest, life does not stop because of someone coming or going. Life must go on, the show must go on. We are feeling Kohli's absence a lot, I will be very honest," said Aakash.

"You are definitely missing him but his absence does not mean that you will lose the series if he isn't there because you defeated Australia in Australia in his absence. India actually lost in the match he was there, that was the Adelaide Test match, but after that, we broke Gabba's pride as well," he added.

Aakash also said that considering the "ordinary" bowling attack of England and the pitches during the both Test matches, Virat could have scored a massive hundred atleast once and he would not give even a chance to young spinner Rehan Ahmed to get his wicket.

"Considering the bowling standards and the sort of pitch that was there in Vizag and when we got to bat for the first time in Hyderabad, Kohli would have scored at least one 150 in the two matches because he would not have stopped against this ordinary bowling, in which Rehan Ahmed gets bored," Chopra said.

"He said he would rather get hit for four boundaries. Kohli would have hit you for four boundaries and would not have also given you his wicket. Whether it's Shoaib Bashir, Jack Leach or Tom Hartley, when Virat Kohli sees such a bowling attack, he says he won't score 50-70 but 150-200. That is why he is different from others," he added.

"Virat Kohli will remain unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. The Board fully respects and supports Mr. Kohli's decision," said a statement from the board.

Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar are also a part of the series. The participation of batter KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is subject to their fitness, said BCCI.

"The participation of Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul is subject to fitness clearance from the BCCI medical team," said BCCI's statement.

Mohammed Shami, who had missed the first two Tests due to injury, continues to sit out. Pacer Akash Deep has also been included in the squad. 
The third Test will commence on February 15 in Rajkot while the fourth Test kickstarts in Ranchi on February 23 The fifth and final Test of the series will be played in Dharamsala from March 7. The series is currently level 1-1. After a 28-run loss in the first Hyderabad Test, India won the second Test at Visakhapatnam by 106 runs.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel (WK), KS Bharat (WK), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Akash Deep.

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