Virat Kohli wasn’t included in the Indian squad for the T20I series against West Indies. It has been reported that the BCCI wanted to pick the batter but he insisted on a break, and the board agreed. Virat Kohli might have to wait till the Asia Cup to return to action.
Though some former cricketers and experts have raised questions about Virat Kohli’s place in the team, his absence from the T20Is against West Indies has stirred a bigger storm. Though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hasn’t officially confirmed the reason behind Virat Kohli’s absence, it has been reported that the talismanic batter himself had asked for rest.
Virat Kohli Insisted To Take A Break For The West Indies T20I Series: BCCI Source
Reports of Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah wanting a rest were floating much before the T20I squad was officially announced. While Jasprit Bumrah is said to have been rested as part of workload management, the selectors had no plan of giving Virat Kohli a break. But, it was the 33-year-old who asked the BCCI permission to skip the series. The board’s initial plan was to select the strongest possible squad, including Virat Kohli but had to leave the batter out.
“The team management and selectors wanted to play a full-strength T20I team from the ongoing England tour. But Kohli insisted he wanted a break and didn’t wish to travel to West Indies,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying.
Rohit Sharma will be leading the side while the likes of Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah are not in the squad. KL Rahul has made his way back into the squad but however, but his inclusion is subject to fitness. Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has also earned a recall, while leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was not named in the squad.
Jasprit Bumrah Rested To Monitor Workload: BCCI Source
Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have both been rested for the series, although there was no mention of the same in the BCCI release and tweet. Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, and Ishan Kishan are all part of the T20I squad for the upcoming series against West Indies.
The five-match T20I series against West Indies will begin on July 29. There will be a three-match ODI series that will be played before the T20Is, beginning July 22. Kuldeep Yadav has also been named in the squad, but his inclusion is also subject to fitness. Express paceman Umran Malik is not a part of the squad while left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh has been named for the T20Is.
Earlier, the squad for the ODI series against West Indies was named and the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah were all rested. Veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan will lead the team in the ODIs.
“Jasprit Bumrah has been rested to monitor his workload. Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, and Hardik Pandya needed a breather from the ODIs,” the source added.
Virat Kohli has been getting frequent breaks over the last few months. He wasn’t selected for the T20Is against South Africa either. This break, however, seems to have come as a result of poor form that the batter has been going through for a while now.
Virat Kohli scored only 11 and 20 in the 5th Test against England. His poor form continued in T20Is too as he failed to make a mark on his comeback. The batting superstar was out for just 1 off 3 balls in the 2nd T20I and scored 11 off 6 balls in the 3rd T20I before a minor groin strain ruled him out of the 1st ODI. He scored 16 in the 2nd ODI.
India is also scheduled to face Zimbabwe in the shortest format but the board isn’t expected to select senior players for that assignment. Virat Kohli is unlikely to be added for that assignment too.