Fri, 17 Sep 2021

Nottingham [UK], August 3 (ANI): India skipper Virat Kohli has come out in support of batsman Cheteshwar Pujara ahead of the Test series against England.

India and England will lock horns in a five-match Test series beginning Wednesday at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. The series will mark the start of the second cycle of the World Test Championship.

In the inaugural WTC final, Pujara failed to leave a mark as he registered scores of 8 and 15 in the two innings respectively. Kohli feels the criticism for Pujara in recent times is unnecessary and a player of his calibre "should be left alone".

"It's been going on for a while. A player of his caliber and experience should be left alone. It should be left to the individual to work on whatever drawbacks in his game, similarly with me and any other player in the team.

"From the outside, I can say that criticism is unnecessary, but I for a fact know that Pujara doesn't care. People can say what they want but at the end of the day, it's just words," said Kohli while replying to a query from ANI.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that England men's all-rounder Ben Stokes will take an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect.

The Indian skipper emphasised the importance of having a break from cricket to return to the field fresh.

"Subconsciously, your mind keeps working. You're used to planning on a daily basis. So it's important to take a break. You saw Ben Stokes is taking a break," said Kohli during a virtual press conference.

"We've been in bubbles for a few months. It's not easy, so the breaks are important. We can refresh and come back because being a captain is a stressful job.""And you confine us into a bubble, it becomes even more difficult. It's important to take breaks. We go into this series fresh and optimistic. For us, especially me as captain, this break was important," he added.

India had last won a Test series in England in 2007 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid and after that, the Men in Blue have struggled to get past the Three Lions in their own backyard. (ANI)

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