Virat Kohli informs BCCI about indefinite break from ODIs, T20Is; no clarity on captain Rohit Sharma: Report
Virat Kohli is unlikely to play any part in the white-ball leg of India's tour of South Africa while there is still no clarity on captain Rohit Sharma.
Virat Kohli has reportedly informed the BCCI that he would not be available for selection in white-ball matches for an indefinite period. This effectively rules him out of the white-ball leg of India's upcoming tour to South Africa and the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan in January. A BCCI source told The Indian Express that Kohli has decided to concentrate on red-ball cricket as of now and will only play the two Tests in South Africa and not the ODIs and T20Is.
“He (Kohli) has informed the BCCI and selectors that he needs a break from white-ball cricket and he will get back to them about when he wants to play white-ball cricket next. At the moment he has informed the BCCI that he will be playing red-ball cricket, which means he is available for selection for the two Test matches in South Africa,” the source said.
On the other hand, there is no clarity on India captain Rohit Sharma's availability for the white-ball leg of the South Africa tour. Both Rohit and Kohli have not played T20 cricket since the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia but with the World Cup lined up for June next year, there were talks if both of them would want to return to have one final crack at winning an ICC trophy. Besides, after the kind of performance Rohit put in with the bat in the World Cup and the leadership skills he possesses, it is only fair to ask him to lead India's charge at the T20 World Cup, especially considering the fact that it is only six months away.
But as things stand now, it seems unlikely that Rohit and Kohli will feature in T20Is anymore. In fact, their future in ODIs also looks bleak. India, anyway, don't have much white-ball action lined up till the T20 World Cup.
They are slated to play three T20Is starting in South Africa followed by as many ODIs and then a two-match Test series. Rohit and Kohli are more or less certain to don the whites in those two matches. Their next white-ball assignment is a three-match home T20I series against Afghanistan. Then there is nothing. England will tour India for five Tests, followed by the IPL and then the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA.
India have six T20Is and three ODIs till June this year. If Kohli and Rohit don't play those, they won't miss out on much. A better call about their white-ball future would be after the T20 World Cup when India travel to Sri Lanka for a T20I and ODI series.
Both Kohli and Rohit are currently in the UK, holidaying with their families. The Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee is likely to announce India's squads for the South Africa tour within this week.
Rahul Dravid gets extension as India head coach
Meanwhile, Rahul Dravid and his support were given an extension by the Indian cricket board. It was "unanimously agreed to further the tenure" of the 50-year-old former skipper, BCCI said in a statement.
"The board acknowledges Dravid's instrumental role in moulding the Indian team and commends his exceptional professionalism," it said.
Dravid's contract had expired after the World Cup, which ended on November 19 with India's defeat to Australia.
Dravid was appointed in November 2021 for a two-year period.
"The last two years with team India have been thoroughly memorable," said Dravid.
"Together we have witnessed the highs and lows, and throughout this journey, the support and camaraderie within the group have been phenomenal.
"I am genuinely proud of the culture we have set in the dressing room."
His team of support staff, including batting coach Vikram Rathour and bowling coach Paras Mhambrey, have also been retained.
The BCCI did not say how long the new term would be, with India now eyeing the Twenty20 World Cup in June next year as they attempt to break their painful drought in global tournaments.
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