In the upcoming Test series at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Rohit Sharma’s Team India faces a challenge without the services of Virat Kohli, who chose to skip the first two Tests against England due to personal reasons. Despite his absence, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has expressed support for Kohli’s decision, emphasizing its understanding of the situation.

The former Indian skipper, Kohli, recently made a comeback in the T20 World Cup but decided to withdraw from the initial Tests against England. This decision, as per reports, was made after discussions with skipper Rohit Sharma and the team management. The announcement of Kohli’s unavailability was confirmed by the BCCI leading up to the series.

AB de Villiers, the renowned South African cricketer, shared his thoughts on the matter in a video about the Test series on YouTube. De Villiers expressed his curiosity about the exact reason behind Kohli’s brief exit and mentioned that he would soon find out. However, he also made it clear that out of respect for his strong bond with Kohli, he would not disclose the details publicly.

Replacing Kohli in the squad for the first two Tests is RCB batter Rajat Patidar, who is yet to make his Test debut. Patidar recently made his mark in the One Day International (ODI) format against South Africa in December. This selection showcases the team’s confidence in the young player’s abilities.

De Villiers also shared insights into England’s playing style, specifically their aggressive Baseball approach. He believes that this style could prove effective for players like Ben Stokes in the challenging Indian pitches. The South African cricketer is optimistic about the potential success of an attacking brand of cricket, such as Baseball, in the unique conditions presented by Indian pitches.

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Despite the challenges posed by Kohli’s absence, Team India aims to uphold its impressive home record in the Test series. The last time India faced a Test series defeat at home was during the 2012-2013 season against England. De Villiers concluded by emphasizing that an attacking approach tends to fare well in Indian conditions, citing instances where conservative players struggled compared to those who adopted a more aggressive style.