Virat Kohli has been a mainstay in the Indian team across format for several years now, but as his lean patch of form grows bigger and others competing for a spot in India’s batting lineup continue to impress, there are questions arising as to whether the former skipper should be a part of the playing XI in T20 Internationals. With the 2022 T20 World Cup coming up soon in Australia, India are looking to firm up their team. While Kohli has played just two matches in the format since the 2021 T20 World Cup, players like Deepak Hooda have made a strong claim for a berth in the team.
Former India batter Wasim Jaffer feels that while Kohli will get a few more matches to show that he still commands a place in the team, his selection is no longer a certainty.
“I think so, Kohli plays there is no doubt about that. But his form will be taken into consideration, you know his IPL strike-rate has not been great, he has not been in the best of form. And Deepak Hooda can give you an option of bowling so that will be taken into consideration,” he said on ESPNcricinfo about Kohli being picked for the second T20I against England in the ongoing series.
Deepak Hooda, who smashed his maiden international century in a T20I against Ireland last month, played yet another impressive knock of 33 off 17 against England in the series opener in Southampton.
Kohli was not part of the squad for the first T20I against England but is available for the next two matches.
“But not straightaway, Kohli will get an opportunity to play a few games and then probably selectors take a call,” Jaffer said on Kohli’s future in the format.
“But I do not think he will be a certainty, without a doubt. Too many young players have done so well, in the last T20 World Cup, that strike-rate and that approach was taken into consideration and I think India need to look at it in that manner,” he said.
Former England spinner Ashley Giles, however, disagreed with the idea and said that Kohli being dropped would be something the opposition would want.
“I am not going to sit here and say leave Kohli out, I would be wanting that if I was on England’s side at the moment. It is a big decision to make, India have so many good players coming through in their system, Kohli is going to come right at some stage, what do they say? Form is temporary, class is permanent,” he said.
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