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'Any side would miss someone of the stature of Kohli…': Nasser Hussain

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'Any side would miss someone of the stature of Kohli…': Nasser Hussain

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Amidst multiple reports of Virat Kohli’s absence to continue for India’s next two Tests against England, former captain Nasser Hussain said any team would miss a player who’s of his status, but added that the game now needs to look after the right-handed talismanic batter.

Kohli had pulled out of the first two Tests against England three days before the start of the series at Hyderabad, citing personal reasons. But multiple reports have suggested that he may miss India’s next two matches of the Tests against England at Rajkot and Ranchi, and could even not be available for the last game of the series at Dharamshala.

The BCCI had also requested the media and fans on January 22 to respect Kohli’s privacy during this time and refrain from speculating over the nature of his personal reasons leading to his absence from the Tests against England.

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“Well, nothing’s confirmed at the moment. It’s all speculation whether it’s the next two Test matches or three games. They’re (India) going to announce their side in the next few days. Nothing’s confirmed, but 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,” said Hussain on Sky Sports Cricket.

The five-match series between India and England is tied at 1-1, with the next Test to be played in Rajkot on February 15. Kohli’s absence means that his duel with James Anderson will not be seen yet in the Test series. Anderson has dismissed Kohli a total of seven times, the most any bowler has dismissed the right-handed batter.

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“But first things first, the game needs to look after the likes of 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 so be it. But Kohli, and his family and his private life has to come first.

“It will be a blow for India, but as we have seen, they have got a very good lot of young batters. I think, just speculating, KL Rahul, who missed the second game after being brilliant over the last few months, could come back in for India,” concluded Hussain.

–IANS

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