‘Kohli’s absence a big blow for world cricket’: Nasser Hussain says as Virat remains doubtful for ENG series

The Indian cricket landscape has felt a tremor with the absence of one of its most seismic players, Virat Kohli, from the ongoing five-match Test series against England. The heavyweight batter has so far missed the first two Tests due to personal reasons and, as current reports suggest, he might be sidelined for at least the next two encounters, casting doubts over his participation in the entire series.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain, weighing in on the situation, expressed his views with a blend of concern and respect for the Indian cricketer’s impact not only on his national team but on the sport globally. “It’ll be a blow for India. It’ll be a blow for the series. It’ll be a blow for world cricket. It’s going to be a special series. It already has been. The first two games have been fascinating,” Hussain commented during his analysis on Sky Sports.

The gravity of Kohli’s absence can’t be understated. Kohli is a figure whose batting prowess has been a pillar of strength for his team and whose confrontations with rival cricketing titans have been the center of many a memorable cricketing battles. His duel with England’s James Anderson, for instance, is considered one of the sport’s great rivalries—a narrative thread woven through the fabric of modern cricket history.

Despite acknowledging the loss dealt by Kohli’s potential withdrawal from the series, Hussain also pointed out that after more than 15 years of service to international cricket, the right to personal time should not be disputed. “The game needs to look after the likes of Virat Kohli as well. He has been playing international cricket for more than 15 years now, and if he needs a break to be away with family, (to) get some time away from the game, we absolutely wish Virat Kohli all the best,” he stated.

The Indian squad is currently at a crossroads with fans awaiting the announcement of the team for the remaining Tests. Kohli’s slot, in the crucial No.4 position, creates an opportunity and a challenge for emerging talents to make their mark. KL Rahul stepped into those shoes in the first Test, delivering an admirable performance, but with him succumbing to a quadricep injury, the second Test presented a vacancy which Shreyas Iyer could not capitalize on to cement his place.

Nasser Hussain further reflected on the broader picture, recognizing the line of succession that exists within the Indian ranks. “Virat Kohli is one of the greatest batters ever to play the game, and any series, and any side will miss someone of his stature. 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,” Hussain speculated.

The conjecture now is not if India can cope without Virat Kohli, but rather how they will adapt to his absence. It’s a testament to the resilience and depth of Indian cricket, which has continued to flourish despite the ebb and flow of its star players. As the series progresses, the narrative may shift to focus on who will rise to the occasion in Kohli’s stead and whether or not India can sustain its momentum for the rest world cricket to witness.

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