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India vs England 2024

IND vs ENG 2024: Top 3 Contenders to Replace Virat Kohli in First Two Tests Against England

Will the selectors give a chance to the veterans or build their bench strength with youngsters in place of Virat Kohli?

Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli

Due to personal reasons, former Team India skipper and top batsman Virat Kohli has withdrawn from the first Test match between India and England. With this news, the Indian Cricket Board said that Kohli has kept the team management, selectors, and captain Rohit Sharma informed by speaking with them regularly.

Virat Kohli seemed to be in excellent form, and his understanding would have been helpful on conditions that may favour spinners, so this is undoubtedly a big blow for the Indian side. Let’s examine three individuals who might start in Virat Kohli’s stead in the Indian playing eleven for the opening two Test matches against England.

Also Check : IND vs ENG 2024: 5 Indian batters with most runs vs England in Test

3 players who might be included in Team India squad for first two Tests in place of Virat Kohli

3) Sarfaraz Khan

Sarfaraz Khan

Sarfaraz Khan (Source-Twitter)

Sarfaraz Khan, one of the most effective players in first-class cricket, has developed into a run-machine in the Ranji Trophy. In 44 games, he has scored 3751 runs at an average of 68.20. The right-hander, who has 13 centuries and 11 half-centuries, has the wonderful knack of not giving up on brilliant starts.

He has now left a lasting impression on the selectors with some great knocks against England Lions. The Mumbai batter struggled during the first innings but bounced back with a determined 96 in the second. He reminded the selectors of his presence with another half-century during the second unofficial Test match. He demonstrated his class in a Pretoria intra-squad competition by smashing a stunning 61 ball hundred in the match. 

2) Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli (Source-Twitter)

The 35-year-old is making runs for pleasure in domestic cricket, having recently amassed a double hundred against Jharkhand in the Ranji Trophy. He may not be performing up to par, but he is still making runs at the top level. After a few ducks, it seems as though Ajinkya Rahane’s window is closing. 

Though Pujara has undoubtedly maintained the interest of the selectors and watchers, it might not be for him. His ability to support his team and play on rank-turners is unmatched. This move may also allow Shubman Gill to bat in Virat Kohli’s spot (which is a role he might take in the future)

1) Rajat Patidar

Rajat Patidar

Rajat Patidar (Source-Twitter)

Rajat Patidar has been outstanding lately; in India A’s tie in South Africa, he struck 33 runs from 67 balls.Regarding his current scoring streak, Patidar was regarded as one of India A’s most promising players when they played the England Lions immediately prior to this India vs. England Test series. 

After hitting a century during the tour match, Patidar added another century in the opening Unofficial Test. He is a strong candidate to replace Virat Kohli at number four for India during the opening two Test series matches because of his propensity to attack the bowlers.

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