Just two days are left before India begin their 5-match Test series against England in Hyderabad. Team India will head into the first two games without their star batter Virat Kohli, who has opted out of the matches due to personal reasons. However, just moments after his announcement, Kohli broke a big record of former India captain MS Dhoni after he got named in the ICC’s ODI Team Of The Year for 2023. Kohli made it to the team of the year for a record 14th time and Dhoni has tally of 13.

Indian Cricket Team’s head coach Rahul Dravid on Tuesday said that Virat Kohli, who will miss the first two Tests of the England series due to personal reasons, is a “phenomenal player” and other players will have opportunity to step up and put in some good performances in his absence.

Virat Kohli will miss the first two Tests of the five-match series against England due to personal reasons. (WATCH: Shubman Gill’s Special Request To Captain Rohit Sharma Following Discussion Of Batting At Virat Kohli’s Position)

India will lock horns against England in the first Test which will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, in Hyderabad. The second Test of the series will be played at Vishakapatnam, the third Test at Rajkot, the fourth Test at Ranchi and the fifth and final Test at Dharamshala.

Dravid said that any team will miss the absence of a player like Kohli. (MS Dhoni Did Not Attend Ram Temple Inauguration, Wife Sakshi Shares Pic Of ‘Ram Lalla’ On Insta; Check Here)

“Any team will miss a quality player like Virat Kohli, there is no doubt about it. He is a phenomenal player and his records tell everything. He is a huge boost to the side but having said that it gives an opportunity to the other players to step up and put in some good performances,” he said in the pre-match press conference.

“We have got some good experience in the squad. We have players like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja who have played in the team for over a decade in Tests. There are some other great players in the team like Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer but I will not call them youngsters…They have been there with the squad for a time now and they have the opportunity to perform and prove themselves in the five-match series,” the former right-hand batter added.

Asked about the Hyderabad pitch, he said it is hard to predict the conditions.

“It’s hard to say. We will see once the game starts and figure it out. It looks like a good one from where I have seen it. The pitch may spin a little bit, how quickly and how fast that I don’t know,” Dravid said. -23 respectively. 

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