Kapil Dev wants India's T20I squad to drop Virat Kohli

Former India captain Kapil Dev asserted that if a bowler of Ravichandran Ashwin’s ability with around 450 Test wickets can be withdrawn from the Test team playing eleven, Virat Kohli is no longer vital in T20Is following his extended decline.

Kapil considers that the youthful stars should be given more opportunity than Kohli, who has been inconsistent across formats for some time.

Kohli hasn’t gone on a massive run in nearly three years, and the World Cup-winning all-rounder considers that if in-form players aren’t given enough opportunity to exhibit their skills, the Indian team management will be doing them a disservice.

“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 Test side, then (once upon a time) world No. 1 batter can also be dropped.”

It was clear to Kapil that Kohli is no longer the player he once was.

“Virat is not batting at a level which 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,” Kapil said to ABP news.

Kapil wants healthy competition

According to Kapil, Kohli’s stature should not be used as a selection criterion and the team must have a healthy level of competition. This will instil in the young players’ sense of self-worth and self-confidence.

“I want competition for places in team in a positive sense that these youngsters should try and outperform Virat,” Kapil 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.”

Kohli has rested from the next One Day International (ODI) series against West Indies and is likely to be overlooked for the T20I series.

“Play in-form players when you have loads of options. You can’t just go by reputation, but you have to look for 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,” Kapil concluded.

Kohli’s decline

Kohli is regarded as one of the greatest cricketers of all time as he swept the cricketing world off its feet in the 2010s, dominating the game in all three formats. Having scored 70 tonnes across all formats, he trails just behind Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar in the list of most centuries in international cricket.

However, he has recently suffered a significant slump, failing to make a century in any form of international cricket for the past two and a half years. He last scored a century in any format in a Test match against Bangladesh in 2019, and has failed to accumulate significant numbers since then.

Questions have been made about his T20I Play style, and his strike rate (SR) has been scrutinised. A disappointing India Premier League (IPL) season in which he scored 341 runs in 16 matches at a below-par average and SR of 22.73 and 115.99 has cast doubt on his inclusion in the squad for this year’s T20 World Cup.

Kohli joined Team India before Saturday’s 2nd T20I between India and England on July 9. In the 1st T20, India’s second-string squad defeated Jos Butler’s squad by 50 runs. Therefore, the management may not want to change the winning combination.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.