Kohli, who missed the first two Tests due to personal reasons, will continue to be absent for the remaining three matches, a decision supported by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Reflecting on Kohli’s absence, Chopra highlighted India’s historic series win in Australia during the 2020-21 tour, where they emerged victorious even without Kohli, who played just one of the four Tests.”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,” Chopra stated in a YouTube video.
Chopra acknowledged the significance of Kohli’s absence but emphasized that India had previously overcome challenges without him. He pointed out India’s victory in Australia, where they defeated the hosts in his absence, showcasing the team’s resilience.
“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.
Assessing Kohli’s potential impact on the ongoing series, Chopra remarked on the ordinary bowling attack of England and the favorable batting conditions, suggesting Kohli could have made significant contributions.
“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,” Chopra asserted.
Chopra also highlighted Kohli’s ability to dominate bowling attacks, suggesting that he would have capitalized on the opportunities presented by England’s bowlers.
“Virat Kohli would have hit you for four boundaries and would not have also given you his wicket. 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 explained.
Meanwhile, BCCI confirmed Kohli’s continued absence for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons, while also addressing the fitness status of other players in the squad.
The third Test of the series is set to commence on February 15 in Rajkot, with the series currently level at 1-1 after India’s victory in the second Test at Visakhapatnam.
India squad for next three Tests vs England: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.
(With inputs from ANI)