• Tuesday, March 05, 2024


Why Virat Kohli will miss 1st T20 against Afghanistan? Head coach Rahul Dravid clarifies

The ace batter returned to India’s T20 squad after more than a year.

Virat Kohli plays a shot during India’s match against Pakistan at Melbourne Cricket Ground in T20 World Cup 2022 on October 23, 2022. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

FANS of Virat Kohli, who made a comeback in India’s T20 squad after more than a year, will have to wait more to see him play the shortest format since the ace batter will skip the first of the upcoming three-match series against Afghanistan at home due to personal reasons.

Head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed this on Wednesday (10).

India and Afghanistan were set to lock horns in their first-ever bilateral T20 series starting Thursday (11) in Mohali.

Speaking at a press conference on the eve of the first match. Dravid said the ace batter will join the squad for the second and third matches in Indore and Bengaluru on January 14 and 17, respectively.

Read: India, Pakistan to lock horns in T20 World Cup in New York on June 9

Kohli has played 115 T20 matches in which he has scored 4,008 runs. His only century in the format came against Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2022 in Dubai when he belted 122 not out in 61 balls. He averages 172 against the same opponents and also has a strike rate of 172 against them.

Rohit Sharma, who will lead the side against the Afghans, also made a comeback in the shortest format since India’s humiliating defeat against England in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.

Read: Ram Temple fever grips cricket? When Virat Kohli made bow-arrow gesture in South Africa Test

The return of Sharma and Kohli to the T20 side has been questioned by many since both the players are ageing. However, Indian selectors have picked them keeping in mind the T20 World Cup in June, which could be their final appearance in the format for India.

Sharma and Kohli recently featured in the two Test series against South Africa that was drawn 1-1. Their last appearance in the white-ball format was in the final of the 50-over World Cup that India lost to Australia.

Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav, who led India in the absence of Sharma in the recent past, would miss the series against Afghanistan due to injuries.

India T20 squad for Afghanistan series:

Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wicket keeper), Sanju Samson (wicket keeper), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.

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