Former India cricketer Kapil Dev feels that if a bowler of Ravichandran Ashwin’s stature can be dropped from the Test team, then Virat Kohli too should no longer be a certainty in India’s T20I squad. Kohli’s career has been going through a prolonged bad batch. He has struggled to convert his starts into substantial scores over the last couple of years in international cricket.
The veteran India batter has a great T20I record overall, averaging over 50 in the format. However, his recent struggles have become a cause of concern for the Indian Team. Recently, in the fifth Test match against England, Ravichandran Ashwin was not included in the Indian squad. Former India cricketer Kapil Dev has expressed that if Ashwin can be dropped even Kohli’s place should not be certain in the team.
“Yes, now the situation is such that you might be forced to bench Kohli from T20 playing eleven. If world No. 2 bowler Ashwin can be dropped from the Test side then (once upon a time) world No. 1 batter can also be dropped. Virat is not batting at a level that we have seen him do over the years. He has made a name because of his performances but if he isn’t performing, then you can’t keep the performing youngsters out of the team. I want competition for places in the team in a positive sense that these youngsters should try and outperform Virat,” said Kapil Dev on ABP News.
You can’t just go by reputation: Kapil Dev
Virat Kohli has also been rested for the upcoming ODI series against West Indies. While if speculations are to be believed, the cricketer might even be dropped from the team. Former India skipper Kapil Dev believes that Kohli’s exclusion can be viewed differently by different individuals.
Kapil Dev further expressed that the selectors have to look at the form of the players and not the reputation. He said,
“You can call it rest and someone else will call it dropped. Every person will have his own view. Obviously, if selectors don’t pick him (Kohli), then it could be because a big player isn’t performing. Play in-form players when you have loads of options. You can’t just go by reputation but you have to look for the current form. You can be an established player but that doesn’t mean that you will be given chances even if you fail five games in a row.”
The upcoming T20I matches against England will be crucial in deciding Virat Kohli’s T20I future. The Indian cricketer was rested for the first T20I against England on Thursday. However, he will be available for selection for the next two T20Is.