“Virat Kohli would be hungry to lead and play well” – Jos Buttler 

Virat Kohli

Joe Root

England wicketkeeper batsman Jos Buttler feels that keeping Indian captain Virat Kohli quiet would be among England’s biggest challenges in the upcoming Test series.

Virat Kohli missed the last three Tests in Australia as he was on paternity leave. In his absence, Ajinkya Rahane led the team and scripted glory down under.

Speaking to PTI, Jos Buttler admitted that Virat Kohli will be hungry to score big runs. He was quoted as saying:

“Virat would be coming back, had some time away from Test matches and he will be hungry to lead and play well, so it is going to be a great challenge.”

Virat Kohli amassed 655 runs the last time England toured India in 2016, including a best of 235.

Jos Buttler also expressed admiration at the manner in which India defeated Australia, despite not having most of their resources at their disposal.

According to the 30-year-old, the Aussie triumph demonstrates the strength of India’s domestic structure. Jos Buttler explained:

“Obviously, the Australian series really showed world cricket the amazing strength and depth in Indian cricket. To go and win that series in Australia, when you are missing Virat (Kohli) after the first Test and having so many injuries, just shows there is fantastic strength and depth, competition in Indian cricket.”

He added in this regard:

“A lot of cricketers, a lot of them (brought up) from the IPL, so (not) wanting to face either team really, but I know there will be no complacency from the Indian side.”

While India will go into the Test series as favourites, England are aware that they were the last team to beat India in India.

Current Indian skipper Joe Root made his debut during the final Test of that historic series, which England won 2-1.

Jos Buttler stated that Root has nice memories of that fantastic series. He added:

“Joe made his debut on that tour and has fond memories and learnings on what made us successful.”

Describing the 2012 side as one of the best England teams, the wicketkeeper batsman added that the current side, under Root, is getting there.

“This side is in a little bit of a different stage in terms of journey, but certainly, getting towards that point. It’s an exciting time to take up such a challenge against the best team in the world in their home conditions.”

Jos Buttler believes that the team can learn a lot from the way Root batted in Sri Lanka, holding the innings together. He was quoted as saying:

“Joe Root is a great example of doing that for us in Sri Lanka, with a double hundred and a 180. He just showed us that you have to make the most of conditions and score big runs,” he said.

India and England players have reached Chennai for the Test series, which will get underway from February 5.

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