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‘Even if Virat Kohli is one of the greatest…’: Consolation for Gill, Jaiswal as India ‘digest’ their superstar’s absence

David Lloyd reckons India will not be ‘weakened’ by Virat Kohli’s absence as Shubman Gill and Yashasvi Jaiswal are ready to take Indian cricket forward.

So… for a third Test match in a row, India will be without Virat Kohli. It has happened before of course, most notably during the 2020/21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, but back then, India was aware as to why Kohli is unavailable. This time around, no one has a clue where Kohli is, why he’s missing or how’s he doing barring the fact that he is out due to ‘personal reasons’. Which means that for the first time in 13 years, India will play a Test match without their superstar, let alone in a series of high magnitude such as India vs England.

No one knows where Virat Kohli is or how he’s doing. (PTI)

If the first two Tests are any indication, India felt Kohli’s absence dearly. Not taking anything away from India’s batters, some of whom played really well, but Kohli was missed more in the second innings at both Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam, where the Indian innings crumbled under pressure. There was belief that Kohli might be back for the remaining three Tests, but the moment it was made official that he wouldn’t, things became crystal clear that India have no choice but to ready themselves for a life without their star batter for the remainder of this series.

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Having said that, former English cricketer David Lloyd suggests, India would not be too impacted by losing Kohli. If the first two Tests have proven anything, it’s that India’s youngsters are more than capable of handling the situation when push comes to shove. In Hyderabad, if it were KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, Vizag paved the way for the talents of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill to shine through with one scoring a double-century and the other a very crucial hundred.

Also Read: David Lloyd proposes ‘dangling a carrot’ to dismiss Yashasvi Jaiswal

So yeah, no Kohli? No problem, says Lloyd.

“All of India has been digesting the news that Virat Kohli will not play any part in the series but I don’t think it weakens them too much even if he is one of the greatest players we’ve ever seen,” he wrote for The Daily Mail.

“Shubman Gill stepped up in the second Test and the Indian batters are all well capable of getting massive scores. The one England have had the most problems with so far is Yashasvi Jaiswal and their challenge therefore is to try to work out a plan to dismiss the series’ leading run scorer.”

A toast to Jaiswal and Gill

In Visakhapatnam, Jaiswal, 22, scored 209, whereas the second-best individual score in the Indian innings was Gill’s 34. Similarly, in the second innings, after Gill’s 104, the next best was 45 from Axar Patel. In fact, Jaiswal’s double-century was India’s first 200 in Tests by a left-handed batter since Gautam Gambhir’s double ton in 2009. His knock earned him plaudits from world over, with some former cricketers even calling him ‘greater than Don Bradman’ and others unable to find a single weakness in him.

Gill, on the other hand, finally got some much-needed form and runs under his belt. It was his first century in 11 months and one that promises to go a long way in cementing his place at No. 3 in India’s batting order. The fact that India were rescued by two of their youngsters in each inning of the Vizag Test serves as a huge positive given how under-fire Gill was in the absence of Kohli and the departure of the experienced Cheteshwar Pujara.


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