'Shoot advertisements during IPL, not while playing for India': Former player rips into Kohli, Rohit for missing WI ODIs
As Kohli returns to the Indian contingent for the second Twenty20 against England, he might open alongside Rohit Sharma, with in-form Deepak Hooda maintaining his number three batting spot.
He may be among the finest players that world cricket has witnessed but Virat Kohli has lately been a pale shadow of his former self. The mercurial player missed the home series against South Africa and prolonged his lean patch with scores of 11 and 20 across two innings in the rescheduled fifth Test against England. Kohli, who last played a Twenty20 international in February, has featured in only two games since India's forgettable campaign in last year's World T20 in the UAE.
As Kohli returns to the contingent for the second Twenty20 against England, he might open alongside Rohit Sharma, with in-form Deepak Hooda maintaining his number three batting spot. The spotlight now shifts to Kohli but the former skipper will be again rested for the ODI series against West Indies, beginning July 22.
Shikhar Dhawan will be leading the Indian side for the three ODIs, while Kohli and all-format captain Rohit Sharma are among those who have been rested. Notably, Rohit had not played the fifth Test against England after testing positive for Covid-19. The team management's decision to rest both star players has been questioned by many, including former India all-rounder Karsan Ghavri.
With workload management coming into the picture, the Indian team has witnessed constant chopping and changing in the recent past. It has also led to seven different captains being appointed in as many series.
"How much rest do Virat and Rohit need? How long did Virat bat in the Test match? Playing for India should be their number one priority. You should shoot for advertisements during the IPL, not while playing for India. You cannot ask for frequent breaks in the name of workload management," Ghavri said in an interview with Sportskeeda.
Two other senior players, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have also been rested for the away series. The young pair of Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant misses out too.
Ghavri, who has played 9 Tests and 19 ODIs for India, shared his views on Kohli's lean patch, saying the selection should be done purely on the basis of merit. Kohli has not hit a century since 2019 and his botched run has become a hot topic of debate among fans and experts.
"Players should be selected on merit. Virat has made India proud on many occasions, but drop him if he’s not in form. It’s as simple as that."
"Bring in the guys who are in form. Virat Kohli is a big name, but where are the runs? How long can you play based on your past reputation? He’s still stuck on 27 Test centuries. Meanwhile, Joe Root has now surpassed him despite lagging behind until recently," said Ghavri.
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