India drop Virat Kohli from T20 squad for West Indies

 India’s star batsman Virat Kohli. Photo: AFP/file  

NEW DELHI: India’s out-of-form star batsman Virat Kohli was missing from the 18-member squad announced by selectors Thursday for the upcoming five-match Twenty20 series in West Indies.

Former captain Kohli, 33, has been going through a prolonged lean patch and has not hit a century since 2019, with his future now a matter of intense public debate in his cricket-obsessed country.

The national selectors did not clarify whether the top-order batter had finally been dropped or was merely being rested over injury concerns ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.

Ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin returned to the T20 format, as will opener KL Rahul and left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav if they prove their fitness to confirm their spots.

India’s all-format captain Rohit Sharma will lead the pace-heavy squad with several breakthrough stars from the Indian Premier League T20 tournament.

The five matches will be played at three venues in Trinidad, St Kitts and Lauderhill in the US state of Florida.

Squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant (wkt), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh. 

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