‘Some Things are More Important Than Cricket’: Nasser Hussain, Kevin Pietersen on Virat Kohli Skipping First 2 Tests vs England


Last Updated: January 24, 2024, 20:38 IST

Virat Kohli spoke to captain Rohit Sharma informing him of his decision. (AP Photo)

Virat Kohli spoke to captain Rohit Sharma informing him of his decision. (AP Photo)

According to both Englishmen, no matter what the reason is, Kohli’s decision must be respected as every cricketer has their personal space.

Team India will miss the services of Virat Kohli in the first two games of the upcoming five-match Test series against England. The former skipper has pulled himself out of the fixtures owing to personal reasons. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) broke the news through an official statement on Monday but didn’t reveal the actual cause behind his absence. The board also urged fans and the media to refrain from anticipating the reason. Former England captains – Kevin Pietersen and Nasser Hussain have now extended their support to Kohli.

According to both Englishmen, no matter what the reason is, Kohli’s decision must be respected as every cricketer has their personal space. In his column for Daily Mail, Hussain dug out the reference to Harry Brook, who has also withdrawn his name from the Test series against India. The youngster has already returned to England, citing personal reasons.

“My first thought is that we wish Virat well. Like Brook, he has taken a step back for personal reasons, and everyone in the game should respect that. Some things are more important than cricket,” Hussain wrote.

The former English captain, however, acknowledged that the Indian team would feel the absence of Kohli at the top of the batting order. This might make the task easier for England, who last time won a Test series on Indian soil back in 2012 when Alastair Cook was the captain.

“There’s no doubt that India, and the series, will miss him. Any team would suffer when a player of Kohli’s class drops out, and it gives England a glimmer of hope in the first two Tests of a series in which they begin as clear underdogs,” Hussain explained.

Meanwhile, Kevin Pietersen, known as a good friend of Kohli, showed his support for the India batting stalwart through a post on X (formerly Twitter). The former English batter feels If “a sportsman pulls out for personal reasons,” everyone must “respect it.”

Kohli was India’s only standout batter in the first Test of the South Africa tour. He played a gritty 76-run knock in the second innings when other Indian batters were struggling to register a double-digit score on the bouncy surface at Centurion. Kohli replicated his form in the first innings of the second Test and scored a composed 46, with India winning the match by seven wickets. The opening Test between India and England begins on January 25 in Hyderabad.





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