The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) has reportedly given an ultimatum to the former captain Virat Kohli ahead of the much-awaited T20 World Cup, to be held later this year in Australia. The top hierarchy is displeased with Kohli’s form of late, and in T20I, he has become a liability for the team.
Kohli is no longer a certainty in the team, and his fate will be decided by how he fares in the upcoming T20I series against England. Kohli has had an underwhelming campaign in the IPL 2022, where he managed just 341 runs at an average of 22.
“He has been a great servant of the Indian cricket. Without doubt one of the best. But his struggle for form and runs is now alarming. Selectors need to select people on form not on reputation. I am no authority but he needs to get his groove back soon,” a source from the BCCI was quoted as saying to InsideSport.
Although India will be playing several T20Is in the build-up to the marquee event, the ongoing series against England will largely determine the future of Kohli’s T20I career. In the one-off Test match in Edgbaston, he never looked comfortable and got out cheaply in both innings.
“Perform or Perish has to be a way forward on him. I guess selectors will look for options before the T20 World Cup if he don’t get runs in England,” the same source added.
Kohli, along with Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, and Shreyas Iyer, will be available from the second T20I of the series, as they were part of the Test side that lost to England by seven wickets in Birmingham.
With so many young players doing well for both their IPL club and the country, it becomes hard for Kohli to walk into the playing XI if he doesn’t score runs at a healthy strike rate. Deepak Hooda recently made a century while opening the batting against Ireland, and his ability to sneak out a few overs with the ball gives another interesting choice to the team.
Wasim Jaffer, the former Indian cricketer, too raised the same concern about Kohli. “I’d say Kohli will get an opportunity to play a few matches and then probably selectors will take a call but I don’t think he’ll be a certainty because so many young players have done so well. In the last T20 World Cup, the strike rate, that approach, was questioned and I think we need to keep looking at the future,” Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.
Featured Image Credit: BCCI