The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) has confirmed an 18-member squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against West Indies, beginning on 29 July. The series is seen as dress rehearsals for India ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
Rohit Sharma will be leading the side, while his deputy KL Rahul’s inclusion is subject to fitness. Rahul has been on the sideline, and is currently recovering from surgery for a sports hernia. The series will also see the comeback of R Ashwin to the T20I squad, as India is keen on exploring all options available in their spin department before the marquee event.
While there’s no surprising inclusion in the side, the omission of Virat Kohli has left the fans scratching their heads. Kohli, along with Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal has been rested for the tour, but many are speculating if he’s been dropped out of the squad. Kohli hasn’t played too many games in the last few months, and given his current form, it made little sense to rest him ahead of the World Cup.
The board hasn’t mentioned any reasons behind his absence in their official release, which has caused confusion among the fans. One user wrote, “Selectors should be coming out clearing the air if Kohli has been rested or dropped from the WI T20 series.”
In the last three years, Kohli’s average in T20I has dipped from 52.66 to 42.18. While an average of over 40 is still great by any standards, it’s his strike rate that paints a grim picture. He often takes too many balls before breaking free, thus putting extra pressure on the batters at the other end.
Another user wrote, “Virat Kohli dropped from indian squad. Virat Kohli dropped from ICC rankings. Virat Kohli continues with a declining performance. The directions of the winds are pushing Virat Kohli to closed doors. Indeed a comeback and a recovery is become toughest for Virat Kohli!”
Featured Image Credit: Virat Kohli/Instagram