'One of those guys who never ever miss a Test match' - Sanjay Manjrekar shocked on Virat Kohli's absence from 2nd SA Test

KL Rahul has been named the skipper of the side in the 2nd Test again SA in Kohli's absence.

Sanjay Manjrekar and Virat Kohli
Sanjay Manjrekar and Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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India headed into the second Test at Wanderers without the services of Virat Kohli and a lot of people were surprised by his absence. The 33-year-old has suffered a back spasm and KL Rahul was named as the stand-in skipper with Jasprit Bumrah taking up the vice-captaincy role. Virat Kohli has had issues with his back in the past and he has been rested on occasions to get it healed.

Hanuma Vihari was picked up in the playing XI in place of Virat Kohli while the rest of the team remained the same. Kohli is one of the fittest cricketers still going around but his recent batting form hasn’t been that great. He has gone into a century drought in international cricket for the last two years. Sanjay Manjrekar spoke to ESPN Cricinfo about Kohli missing out and he expressed his shock in seeing the absence of the skipper.

I was absolutely shocked when I read that KL Rahul is walking out for the toss: Sanjay Manjrekar

Sanjay Manjrekar mentioned that he was hugely surprised to see KL Rahul coming out for the toss and noted of Kohli never missing a Test match. He also weighed in the importance of the Test considering the first-ever series victory on South African soil.

“I was absolutely shocked when I read that KL Rahul is walking out for the toss. All kinds of thoughts came over my mind. Various thoughts, but who would’ve thought that an injury to Virat Kohli because he’s one of those guys who never ever miss a Test match. And considering that India is in a great position to win and make history, it’s really unfortunate. It seems he’s really hurting. Shocking in many ways because it’s a surprise. And a batting setback as well despite his form.” Sanjay Manjrekar said in the preview session.

Sanjay Manjrekar delighted on Test performances helping creditability

Manjrekar also hinted about the opportunities that have been granted to the players based on their Test performances. Rohit Sharma was named the vice-captain for the Test series against South Africa until he faced an injury. He also was happy for KL Rahul getting the captaincy band after his recent performances in England.

“There’s something about Test match performances. You have Rohit Sharma who had a great Test series vs ENG. Immediately after that, he became a captaincy candidate. If not for his injury, he would’ve captained this match,” he said.

“Test match performances really help the credibility of a player and KL Rahul’s performance in England and his 100 recently has contributed to his rise and stature in the team. Seen this with Rohit Sharma and now with KL Rahul. And this is all to do with the hard work that they put in, in England,” he added