Who Can Replace Virat Kohli Against England: In what came as somewhat of a shock to the Indian cricketing fans, star-batter Virat Kohli has pulled himself out of the squad for the first two Tests in the upcoming five-match series against England due to personal reasons.
India will definitely miss the presence of arguably the greatest batsman of this generation in what could prove to be a vital series in the context of the ongoing World Test Championship.
Still, the national team would need to replace Kohli, and here are 3 players who could be announced as the replacement for the King –
Who Can Replace Virat Kohli Against England?
3) Sai Sudharsan
Sai Sudharsan might be the most versatile batter in India at the moment. That is to say that he can order anywhere up and down the order. He can be a strong opener in a side, a dependable middle-order batter, and even a striking lower-middle-order batter.
Sudharsan is a prime candidate for an India call-up, and Kohli’s absence might just be what he needs to make his Test debut for the national side.
Sudharsan has been solid in first-class cricket. While playing for India A against the England Lions in a recent match, his defensive innings of 97-off-208 balls, which is much slower than his regular game, was crucial in taking his side to a draw.
Sai also played three ODIs for India in the recent series against South Africa, so he has already made his national team debut.
2) Sarfaraz Khan
Sarfaraz Khan has arguably been the best first-class batter in India for the past three years. In the past 3 years, not only has he scored 11 centuries and a few double-centuries in Ranji cricket, but also scored his maiden first-class 300 in 2020. He has been knocking on the door of the national team for some time now, and his continued non-selection has been highly controversial.
While he did not have the best time playing for India A recently against the England Lions and South Africa A, Sarfaraz did score three half-centuries in four matches, which included an excellent 96 off 110 balls against the England Lions.
As a true middle-order batsman, Sarfaraz Khan will be the most life-for-like replacement for Virat Kohli in the series against England.
- Check Out: Who Can Replace Virat Kohli Against England?
1) Ajinkya Rahane
While Ajinkya Rahane has not been having the best time in domestic cricket for the past couple of months, he is the most likely replacement for Virat Kohli in the squad, just based on his vast experience playing for the national side.
Not only is he a dependable middle-order batter (when in form), Rahane has also proven himself to be an excellent leader of men, which was on showcase during India’s historic Test series win against Australia in 2020-21.
As far as the recent record is concerned, his excellent performances in IPL 2023, surrounded by his return to form in domestic cricket around that time, brought him back to the national side for the World Test Championship Final against Australia, in which he was the best batsman of a losing Indian side.
Honorable Mention – Rajat Patidar
After missing out on IPL 2023 due to an injury, Rajat Patidar returned to domestic cricket last year with a vengeance. His excellent performances across first-class and List-A cricket resulted in him getting his India cap against South Africa in December 2023.
As far as his more recent performances are concerned, Rajat Patidar scored two 100s in two matches for India A against the England Lions and was a major part in bringing both matches to a draw.
- Virat Kohli Misses First Two Tests Against England
- Players To Watch Out For In India Vs England Tests
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