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BCCI selectors believe Virat Kohli unable to cope with Team India’s demands, harsh call likely for T20 World Cup: Report

Virat Kohli reportedly “hasn’t been able to cope with the team’s needs in the shortest format.” The BCCI selectors are prepared to take a harsh call.

There is no doubt about the fact that Rohit Sharma will be leading India’s charge in the T20 World Cup 2024, slated to be played in the USA and West Indies in June. But the same cannot be said about Virat Kohli’s position in the side. BCCI secretary Jay Shah has already confirmed Rohit as the captain of India for the T20 World Cup but about Kohli, he said the former captain’s role in T20Is will be discussed in due course.

Virat Kohli (L) and Rohit Sharma(Reuters)

As things stand now, the selectors are in a fix about Virat Kohli’s position in T20Is. Both Rohit and Kohli decided to take a break from the shortest format after India’s loss in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022. Hardik Pandya was given the charge of the T20I side but after the all-rounder was ruled out of the ODI World Cup with an ankle injury, there was a change in stance.

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The BCCI officials and the selectors got in touch with Rohit and Kohli to know whether they were keen on playing T20Is and both the stalwarts replied in the affirmative. The Indian T20I side saw the return of Rohit and Kohli in T20Is after about 15 months during the home series against Afghanistan.

But there was always a question mark about Kohli’s position in the XI. While Rohit led India’s charge with his attacking approach at the top of the order right throughout the ODI World Cup, showing clear signs of being an ideal opener even in T20Is, Kohli stuck to his tried and tested method. His role was to be the anchor of the batting unit. That approach is needed in ODIs but is there a need for an anchor in T20Is?

Selectors not keen on picking Virat Kohli for T20 World Cup, final call will be of Ajit Agarkar

With youngsters pushing their case and the format changing course rapidly, the selectors were a bit sceptical about Kohli’s place. If the latest report in The Telegraph is to be believed then the doubt has only gotten stronger.

According to the report, Kohli “hasn’t been able to cope with the team’s needs in the shortest format.” He will only be considered if he has a “superlative IPL” for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Sources said that the national selectors and the team management are ready to take some harsh decisions keeping the T20 World Cup in mind.

The final call might rest on chief selector Ajit Agarkar as the BCCI top officials don’t want to get involved in this. “It remains a very delicate matter and not many are willing to get involved,” the source said.

To be fair to Kohli, who is the only cricketer to score more than 4000 T20I runs, he did try to shed the anchor tag by trying to be aggressive from the word go in the two T20Is that he played against Afghanistan. But is it necessary to ask someone like Kohli to change his game drastically when there are others who can play the same game naturally?

What are India’s options if Virat Kohli is not picked for T20 World Cup?

There are plenty. Kohli bats at No.3 in T20Is. India have players like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad to choose from as Rohit’s opening partner. The one missing out can be tried at No.3. Then there is the option of picking either KL Rahul or Snaju Samson as the keeper and No.3 batter. Before he lost his central contract, Ishan Kishan was tried at No.3 in the T20Is against Australia and the left-hander scored two sparkling half-centuries.

Another obvious choice is to send Suryakumar Yadav, the world’s No.1 T20I batter at No.3 and let the likes of Rinku Singh, Shivam Dube, and Ravindra Jadeja come in at the backend of the innings to do what they do the best.


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