It has been an intense affair between India and England in the ongoing five-match Test series. The visitors, who were not expected to excel in the spin-friendly conditions of India, stunned the hosts in the opening match, winning by 28 runs. The Rohit Sharma-led side made an emphatic comeback in Visakhapatnam, beating England by 106 runs. Ahead of the third match of the series, both teams are given a break as the Ben Stokes-led side has flown to Abu Dhabi to stay away from the ‘heat of the battle’, as head coach Brendon McCullum stated.
Meanwhile, India are missing some of the significant names in the Test series. Virat Kohli was unavailable for the first two Test matches of the series and currently, there are doubts if he will join the team in Rajkot, where the third match will be played. Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul were unavailable from the second Test, while Mohammed Shami is still recovering from the ankle injury that he suffered during the ODI World Cup in 2023.
On the other hand, after taking a break from the first Test, James Anderson returned to the England squad in Visakhapatnam. He was brilliant with the leather, picking up five wickets in the match. Interestingly, Anderson shares a long history with star batter Kohli, who hasn’t had much success against the English pacer. Speaking about the same, former cricketer Nasser Hussain mentioned that he expects to see Kohli back in action sometime soon, to resume his rivalry against Anderson.
“I hope he does come back because the only thing this series has been missing is the battle between Kohli and Jimmy Anderson. I’m looking forward to that,” Hussain said in a Q&A session for the Daily Mail.
Notably, Anderson got the better of Kohli on seven occasions in Test cricket. He had always had the upper hand but now with the former India captain in song, the 35-year-old would love to use the opportunity to finish the story on his terms. However, Virat’s availability for the remaining three Tests remains a mystery.