Despite the low profile of the India’s tours to Zimbabwe and West Indies, the announcement of squads has courted controversy. The selection committee announced a new-look side for the short limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe but said no player had sought to be rested. However, asked about the decision to omit Virat Kohli for Zimbabwe, chief selector Sandeep Patil cited injury. T he Zimbabwe ODI and T20 series starts on June 11. “We have received a medical report that Kohli needs rest for the Zimbabwe tour following the IPL,” Patil said. Asked if it was okay for him to continue playing in the IPL, Patil said they selected players on the basis of reports received.
Kohli, the RCB skipper, injured the webbing in his left hand during a game last week, needing seven stitches. He has continued playing and will feature in Tuesday’s first qualifier.
Patil insisted that no player had asked to be rested for Zimbabwe, a tour seen as an opportunity to test young talent. Usually, most regular India players skip the short tour to take a break. Patil acknowledging Kohli’s injury and his continued IPL participation has revived the club versus country debate.
“Kohli has been a top performer for us. The medical reports have come in the middle of an ongoing tournament. Let’s not see the issue in this sense,” new BCCI secretary, Ajay Shirke, said.
The lucrative IPL has forced many players to change their priorities. Players from the West Indies, New Zealand and England have time and again sought a window to play in the IPL. With the league growing in stature, nearly every country is reluctant to organise tours during IPL in April and May. Its hectic schedule also results in many players getting injured. Cricket Australia pulled out five players with niggles to have them fit for the upcoming West Indies Tri-series.
The BCCI though has not taken any such steps to preserve its players.