The former England skipper Nasser Hussain has wished Virat Kohli well after the veteran batter pulled out of the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons. He also said that both Kohli and Harry Brook deserve respect for skipping matches due to personal reasons as well. However, Brook has withdrawn from the five-match Test series as the ECB released a statement on Sunday about the need to give him privacy as well. And, on Monday, the BCCI released a statement as Kohli decided not to play the first two matches.
In his column for The Daily Mail, Hussain wrote: “My first thought is that we wish Virat well. Like Brook, he’s taken a step back for personal reasons, and everyone in the game should respect that. Some things are more important than cricket. But there’s no doubt that India, and the series, will miss him. He’s also been in great form, and his absence from Thursday’s first Test at Hyderabad and next week’s second at Visakhapatnam deprives fans all over the world from watching a genius at work.”
However, Nasser Hussain also added that Virat Kohli’s absence has given England some sniff early on. Kohli was in sublime form during the recent South Africa tour against a strong bowling attack in tough conditions. In 28 Tests against England, Kohli has an average of over 40 with 1,991 runs. England will take on India in the upcoming Test series against India, beginning on January 25 in Hyderabad as well.
“That said, 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,” he added.
“One other thought about Kohli’s decision. Being at the World Cup late last year was a reminder of the claustrophobic lives these Indian players lead. I was at the hotel gym one day when I saw KL Rahul being mobbed by fans on the short walk from the gym to the lifts. These guys get no respite from a life spent, it seems, either on the field or in their hotels, and it amazes me how few of them have felt the need to step back from the game for a while to spend time with their families. I’m full of admiration for the way in which Indian cricketers have managed to balance the amount they play, all over the world, with the goldfish-bowl lifestyle they lead,” Nasser Hussain concluded.