Former Indian cricketer Anjum Chopra believes that Team India missed out on the services of Virat Kohli in the first Test against England. She said the batsman’s ability to adapt to various conditions was something the team missed.
India suffered a 28-run defeat in the first Test against England. This shattered all the expectations of the fans because it was believed that the Rohit Sharma-led team would dominate the proceedings and could even get a whitewash.
India started the game on a dominant note as the first two days of the game were all about them. After packing England out for just 246 runs, they took the lead by 190 runs and it looked like the game would be done and dusted after that.
However, after taking the first wickets, they could not meet the challenge of Ollie Pope, who scored 196 runs and helped the team set the target of 231 runs. India were expected to chase the target but it was not the case as they fell short of 28 runs.
This made many realize the importance of Virat Kohli in the team. The batsman has retired from the first two games due to personal reasons. But it’s fair to say that if he had been there, things would have been different and there was a chance the outcome would have been different.
The Indian grounds fell as part of the phase cards. Debutant Tom Hartley picked up seven wickets and ran through the Indian batting line-up. They could not face the change and left for little money.
Anjum Chopra believes India felt Virat Kohli’s presence and his quality with the bat was missing. He noted that the team lost the ability to adapt to the condition. Speaking to MyKhel, he explained:
“Without a doubt, the Indian team certainly felt the absence of Virat Kohli due to his exceptional skills. Kohli possesses a unique ability to adapt to various conditions, a quality he notably lacked.
“To adapt to Kohli’s skill level, the Indian batsmen lacked how he adapts to the condition in both innings of the first Test.”
Virat Kohli’s association with KL Rahul could have altered the game – Anjum Chopra
Anjum Chopra further praised KL Rahul for his brilliant innings in the two innings of the Test match against England. But he feels that if Virat Kohli had been there, things would have been different. He elaborated:
“KL Rahul showed his batting prowess in both the innings but having Kohli as his partner could have altered the game significantly. This also serves as a response to critics who question Kohli’s place in the T20s.”
KL Rahul has been ruled out of the second Test against England due to a quadriceps injury. Apart from him, Ravindra Jadeja is also ruled out. India will be without four of their key players for the second match – Virat Kohli, Rahul, Jadeja and Mohammed Shami. Sarfaraz Khan, Washington Sundar and Saurabh Kumar have joined the team for the second match in Vizag starting February 2.