Virat Kohli continues to be at the centre of a raging debate thanks to his run of poor form across formats. Former players have now openly started questioning the rationale behind Kohli continuing to get games despite not being able to score big runs for a significant period now.
The legendary Kapil Dev even said that if a world-class spinner like Ravichandran Ashwin can be dropped from one format then why not Kohli. That comment led to polarised opinions and when current India captain Rohit Sharma was asked about his response, he was bemused as to why there are any talks around someone of the calibre of Kohli.
However, the repercussions of Kohli not performing are visible. Kohli isn’t part of either the ODI or T20I squad for Caribbean tour starting later this month. The BCCI has officially not stated any reason behind the big exclusion although it’s widely speculated that the star batter along with Jasprit Bumrah have been rested.
Kapil though thinks it’s possible that the word ‘dropped’ is being avoided considering the stature of Kohli and that he has no qualms with it.
“I can’t say a player like Virat Kohli should be dropped. He’s a big player. If you say he has been rested as mark of respect then there’s no harm in that,” Kapil told ABP News.
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It was also reported that the team management might not be willing to risk Kohli who missed the first ODI against England due to a niggle. However, he was back for the 2nd ODI leading to further intrigue over his absence from the squads for the West Indies tour.
“The most important thing is how a player like Kohli can return to form. He’s not an ordinary cricketer. He should get more practice, play more matches to get back to his old self. I don’t think there’s a bigger player than Kohli in T20s right now but when you are not doing well, the selectors can take their call. My thinking is that if anybody isn’t doing well then he can be rested or dropped,” Kapil said.
Kapil, who led India to their maiden ODI World Cup triumph in 1983, reckons that the way forward for Kohli should be to play in Ranji Trophy or play cricket anywhere he can to get back his mojo.
“It’s not like India haven’t played without Virat in the last five to six years, but I want such a player to be back in form. He might have been dropped or rested but there’s still a lot of cricket left in him. Play Ranji Trophy or score runs anywhere. His confidence needs to be back. This is the difference between a great and a good player. A great player like him shouldn’t take so much time to get back in form. He has to fight with himself and get things in order,” he said.