India batter Virat Kohli (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
WHILE India have bagged their third successive international series in white-ball cricket and all on foreign soil, it is the off form of their star batter Virat Kohli which continues to dominate discussions about the game. Fans are now eager to see whether he is picked for the upcoming short series against Zimbabwe but former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris feels it offers no solution to Kohli’s problems.
The 33-year-old batter is not playing in the West Indies where the Men in Blue are currently playing the T20 series after whitewashing the hosts 3-0 in the one-day internationals (ODIs). While there was no official reason cited about Kohli’s absence in the India squad in the Caribbeans and it was only said that the former captain was rested after the tour of England where he failed miserably across all formats.
However, with the next T20 World Cup lined up in a few months’ time, the future of Kohli has troubled the fans all the more. Are his days numbered in the limited-overs cricket?
Speculation is however rife that Kohli would be part of the India squad that will head to Zimbabwe next to play a three-match ODI series. Some sections in the Indian cricket board believe that he would be under less pressure against a lowly opposition and could return to touch which has eluded him for more than two years now. Not all fans of Kohli agree with the idea though as they feel that it doesn’t suit the stature of a player like him.
Disagreeing to the move, Styris called it a “lose-lose scenario” for the star batter and added even if the Indian got a hundred in Zimbabwe, it would little change his situation.
“I think it is a lose-lose for Kohli. I’d love to see him take a complete break from the game for a little while and come back. Ask the question as selectors and coach Rahul Dravid, I think he’s got a big part to plan as to how much preparation time you need to be at a hundred percent when the world cup starts and then work backwards from there and then build that schedule. So yeah, Zimbabwe, I’d forget about it because I don’t necessarily think there’s a lot to gain from him. He might score a cheap hundred, which goes great for the confidence but doesn’t necessarily change too much moving forward because I still believe he’s the key man for India,” Styris, 47, said on Sports18’s show ‘Sports Over The Top’.
Styris said he would love to get an idea about how the Indian selectors planned to deal with Kohli’s situation.
“Firstly, I loved hearing what a selector goes through in the process that they don’t just simply pick a team or pick the best players. There’s a real methodology around how they go about putting a team together. I can tell you there are plenty of times I wish I could have a conversation with our selectors back here in New Zealand about certain things. So, I loved hearing that, but I’m with you a hundred percent,” he added.