Virat Kohli has been struggling with his form since 2019. The former India captain in all formats has yet to make any centuries since his last in the November 2019 Test series against Bangladesh. This prompted fans to speculate that Kohli would lose his No. 3 batting position in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2022. However, former cricketer Wasim Jaffer said otherwise.
Jaffer did not provide any supporting evidence to his argument, and it was more of an optimistic take on the matter.
“Virat will remain in his original No. 3 place in the team. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma should open. Other players like Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, and Ishan Kishan can contribute significantly to the squad. I feel that the aggressive approach that India has undertaken is very nice to witness. India’s chances of winning (T20 World Cup) are bright,” Jaffer said.
Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif also voiced a similar opinion.
"I do believe he will come back. I have some hopes. World cricket needs him because of the way he plays," Latif said earlier in July.
"In this very match at Edgbaston, he went and picked up a fight. [He has a habit of picking on opponent players, once he did that with Leach, then with Root]. So this is a positive sign that he will surely come back."
A source reported that the New Delhi native had reached out to cricket officials to confirm his availability to play “from the Asia Cup onwards”. This year’s Asia Cup is set to run from August 27 to September 11, meaning that he would be available in Australia if the insider information were to be true.
"Virat had spoken to selectors that he would be available from the Asia Cup onwards. The first team players will hardly get rest from Asia Cup till end of World T20. Hence this is a two-week window after Windies tour when they can rest," the source said.
While the team did not have many replacement options for Kohli, there are at least two star players—Deepak Hooda and Shreyas Iyer—that would likely fill in his shoes should the team decide to replace the former captain.
Kohli is rested in the ongoing West Indies tour and the ODI series against Zimbabwe. He debuted with the national team back in 2008. After years of playing and leading Team India across all three formats, the former captain gradually retired from the position starting in September last year.
Three months later, Rohit Sharma replaced Kohli as India's ODI captain. Kohli later stepped down as Test series captain in January this year. Not long after that, the 33-year-old was replaced by South Africa's Faf du Plessis as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of this year’s Indian Premier League.
Kohli has not yet made any centuries since his last in a Test series against Bangladesh on November 22, 2019. At that time, the former captain scored 139 and helped India win the game by 46 runs.