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‘Ludicrous. Biggest load of rubbish I’ve heard…’: Finch after Virat Kohli’s ‘I still got it’ dig amid World Cup suspense

Aaron Finch finds the discussions around Virat Kohli’s place in India’s T20 World Cup squad ‘ludicrous’.

Aaron Finch has reacted strongly after Virat Kohli made his feelings vocal about the chances of him playing the T20 World Cup starting June 7. Kohli played a match-winning knock of 77 off 49 balls to help Royal Challengers Bangalore defeat Punjab Kings for their first win of the IPL 2024. And during the presentation ceremony, Kohli, while taking a sly dig at those questioning his place in India’s World Cup squad, fired back by saying “I know my name is being used just to promote events, but I guess I’ve still got it”.

Aaron Finch called Virat Kohli ‘the greatest white-ball batter’ he’s ever seen.(AFP-Getty)

Kohli’s answer was a response to his former India coach Ravi Shastri, who wasn’t too keen on having Kohli in India’s T20 World Cup squad. When England great Kevin Pietersen seemed excited by the idea of having Kohli around in the USA and West Indies to help the game grow, Shastri, KP’s commentary partner, countered the thought. The former India all-rounder insisted that the game will continue to expand irrespective of Kohli’s participation and reminded how a young Indian team had lifted the first-ever T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. “What I’m trying to say is no baggage. You want youth. You want flamboyance. You want that dash,” he had said.

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Weighing in on Kohli’s place in India’s T20 World Cup, Finch, the former Australia captain finds it ‘ludicrous’ that such a discussion is happening in the first place. Hailing Kohli as the ‘greatest white-ball batter’ he has seen, Finch reckons just the fact that Kohli’s place is being questioned in a World Cup squad exemplifies the term short-sightedness.

“I can’t understand why everytime there is an ICC event coming up, any format, people always talk about Virat Kohli. Is he under pressure for his spot? That is the biggest load of rubbish I’ve ever heard in my life. He is the greatest player that I’ve ever seen in white-ball cricket. Doesn’t matter if he strikes at 140 and there are guys that strike it at 160. If I’m picking a team, I’ll pick a guy I know who day in and day out, in big games gets the job done. Just ludicrous that we keep having this conversation,” he said on the ‘Around the Wicket’.

Virat Kohli’s T20 World Cup conundrum

The suspense around Kohli’s participation for the T20 World Cup picked up when The Telegraph first reported that the BCCI and chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar may leave Kohli out of the showpiece event, while picking youngsters. Even when secretary of the BCCI Jay Shah had confirmed Rohit Sharma as captain, there was no mention of Kohli, who has played just two T20Is for India since November of 2022, scoring 29 and 0.

Kohli enjoyed a fabulous IPL last year, scoring 639 runs – his second-best season – at an average of 53.25, including two centuries and six fifties. He has already started this tournament with a crisp knock that can put any T20I batter to shame. India’s squad for the T20 World Cup in expected to be announced by mid-May; hence, with a good chunk of matches left, Kohli can turn up the heat. Only time will tell if Kohli is in the BCCI’s pipeline for the World Cup, but Virat surely can’t be ignored if he is able to set the IPL on fire once more.


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