In a significant development, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials are set to hold discussions with Virat Kohli to determine his role in T20 International cricket. Kohli, who recently emerged as the leading run-scorer in the 2023 ODI World Cup, is reportedly not being considered as the first-choice player for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
The shift in focus from ODIs to T20s led to a detailed five-hour meeting in New Delhi, which included the selection committee led by captain Rohit Sharma, head coach Rahul Dravid and Ajit Agarkar. The objective of this meeting was to formulate a strategy for the T20 World Cup to be held in June 2024, the matches of which are to be held in West Indies and USA. The Indian team has only six T20 matches to play, three each against South Africa and Afghanistan, before finalizing the squad for the global tournament.
Notably, Kohli, Rohit and Jasprit Bumrah have requested a break from the white-ball leg of the South Africa tour, leaving only three T20Is against Afghanistan for the selectors to assess the full-strength squad. While Rohit and Bumrah are considered automatic choices in the playing eleven, Kohli’s place in the T20 World Cup squad is reportedly not assured.
During the meeting, BCCI officials including Secretary Jay Shah, Vice President Rajeev Shukla and Treasurer Ashish Shelar conveyed to Rohit Sharma their desire to lead the Indian team in the T20 World Cup. Although both Rohit and Kohli have not played T20Is since the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in 2022, Rohit’s stellar performances in the ODI World Cup have made him the preferred choice for the leadership role in the T20 format.
In contrast, there are uncertainties over Virat Kohli’s role in the T20 setup. Despite Kohli’s record-breaking performance in the ODI World Cup, where he surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s century tally and scored over 700 runs in the same edition, he is not currently the preferred choice for the No. 3 spot in T20Is.
According to sources, the selectors and the board are inclined towards a player who can play aggressive cricket from the beginning. Ishan Kishan, who impressed in the home series against Australia, is the frontrunner for the No. 3 spot. Despite being the leading run-scorer in T20Is, Kohli may face challenges as he usually opens for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, and the current opening slot in the Indian T20I team is reportedly already filled. Are full only.
If Kishan grabs the No. 3 spot, the potential batting slots for the T20 World Cup could be filled with players like Suryakumar Yadav, Rinku Singh, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Unfortunately, this leaves no clear plan for Virat Kohli, one of India’s greatest white-ball cricketers in the last two decades.
Virat Kohli is undoubtedly a classic Batter who can pace his innings as per the situation but in today’s T20 scenario, the Batters are expected to go behind the Bowlers from 1st Ball itself. Virat initially takes some time to build his innings, which sometimes backfires also. While getting set, if he gets out then the whole pressure will come down to the middle order. Again every coin has 2 sides. Whenever India loose 2 quick wickets, then the whole country can rely upon the run machine Virat Kohli. Who can forget the match winning against Pakistan, that was also a T20 game. Want to know more about India Vs Pakistan world cup history, then click here.
Nevertheless, officials have indicated that discussions with Kohli regarding their T20I plans are imminent. If Kohli shows no interest in playing the shortest format, it could solve the dilemma over his role in the T20 setup. The 35-year-old is set to return to the Indian team for the two-match Test series against South Africa starting on December 26.