Virat Kohli not being there is like Tiger Woods missing a golf major


Former England cricketer Michael Atherton opened up about the absence of Virat Kohli for the upcoming two Tests of the series against India. He said that the batter missing the series is like Tiger Woods missing the major golf tournament.

India will be without the services of Virat Kohli for the first two Tests against England. The batter ahead of the series made himself unavailable for the first two games of the series, citing personal reasons. This made many express their disappointment because they were eager to see the batter play.

Virat Kohli’s absence will leave a massive void in the Indian middle order. With the amount of runs that he has piled up and the things that he has done at No.4, it will no-brainer be a big miss for the team. India would need his services because the first two games will set the tone for the series.

However, India have some quality players in the ranks and are expected to do good. But it’s fair to say that no one can match the quality of Virat Kohli. Hence, his absence will be an added advantage for England going into the Test series.

Michael Atherton believes that Virat Kohli is the biggest star for India and his absence will be huge. The England great feels that the batter’s absence will affect the series as he is a charismatic cricketer. Writing in his column for Sky Sports, he stated:

“With Kohli, I’ve kind of likened his absence to Tiger Woods missing a golf major – just because of how big he is here. Supporters in India are often drawn to their superstars and, although he is no longer captain, Kohli is still by far and away the biggest star in the game.

“I think the series is diminished by his absence. I find him a fascinating batter to watch, and a fascinating cricketer in general – even when just in the field and not particularly contributing. He buzzes around with so much energy, he’s a very magnetic, charismatic cricketer.”

Thank goodness for that, we don’t have to bowl at Virat Kohli – Michael Atherton

Michael Atherton said that had Virat Kohli played during his playing days, he would’ve taken a sigh of relief if the batter had missed the games. But he’s aware of the fact that the current England team look at the bigger picture and won’t be bothered by the India star missing games. He added:

“I don’t look at these things through English eyes now. 20 years or so ago, when I was still playing, I’d have thought: “Thank goodness for that, we don’t have to bowl at Kohli. I look at the bigger picture now. I wish he was playing and I’m sorry he’s not, even though it does make it a lot easier for England.”

Michael Atherton believes that India’s batting lineup is not as strong as it used to be during the earlier times. He added that young guys including Shubman Gill are yet to crack Test cricket. He explained:

“If you look at that Indian batting line-up, it’s not like the days of ‘The Fab Five’ of [Virender] Sehwag, [Sourav] Ganguly, [Rahul] Dravid, [Sachin] Tendulkar, [VVS] Laxman. 

“Without Kohli, you feel there’s two or three players there who have not yet absolutely cracked Test cricket, whether that be through inexperience or, in Shubman Gill’s case, just because it hasn’t quite happened for them yet.”

The first Test between India and England will be played from 25th January in Hyderabad.

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