Virat Kohli Stands Alone as India’s Premier Test Batsman, Says Sanjay Manjrekar; Identifies Gap in Replacement

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Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has lauded Virat Kohli as India’s premier Test batsman, underlining the considerable gap between him and the next-best player, particularly in the absence of Rishabh Pant. Manjrekar’s comments come in the wake of the South Africa tour, where Kohli’s class and resilience stood out in challenging conditions.

Kohli’s Test Prowess Applauded

During the South Africa tour, Virat Kohli showcased his prowess as a Test batsman, demonstrating composure and skill on challenging pitches. Despite scoring just one half-century, Kohli emerged as the most comfortable among the Indian batters. Sanjay Manjrekar expressed gratitude for having a player of Kohli’s calibre in the Indian Test setup.

“Virat Kohli will no doubt play (Test cricket) as long as possible, and thank god for India, we have a Virat Kohli. He showed on this trip the kind of challenges that batters face, that there’s a big distance between him and the next best Test batter in India, at least until Rishabh Pant is back,” remarked Manjrekar on ESPNcricinfo.

Lack of Clear Replacement

Manjrekar highlighted the absence of a clear replacement for Kohli in the Indian Test lineup, especially with the new generation still adapting to the challenges of Test cricket. While acknowledging the role of Rohit Sharma, Manjrekar suggested that the onus is on Rohit to determine the duration of his remaining Test career.

“Rohit Sharma will be the man to let us know by his action on how much he wants to play Test cricket. These (Rohit and Kohli) are still batters from the old school. All the new guys will have to adapt to Test cricket. If Rohit Sharma wants to extend his Test career, it’s in his hands, there’s no competition,” Manjrekar added.

Future Test Challenges

With the Indian Test team gearing up for the upcoming series against England, the absence of a clear replacement for stalwarts like Kohli and Rohit Sharma raises questions about the team’s batting lineup. As the new generation strives to adapt and fill the void left by these experienced players, the upcoming Test series will serve as a crucial platform for the emergence of future Test stars.

As cricket enthusiasts anticipate the battles on the pitch, the focus remains on how Team India manages the transition and identifies potential successors to carry the legacy of accomplished Test batsmen like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

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