Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar was quite surprised that Virat Kohli was rested ahead of the final T20I against the West Indies on Sunday. Kohli had just found his touch with a 41-ball 52 in the second T20I but he has been rested from the final game.
Along with Kohli, Rishabh Pant was also rested for the third game and the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka. Managing workload is essential but not at the cost of a batter who is just about beginning to find his old self.
“I was surprised because we were discussing about his form of late and then he played a wonderful knock in the last game. It was simply brilliant, those lofted shots over the infield. There were no risks involved in playing shots, but he did so he showed he was in good form,” Gavaskar told India Today.
Kohli had failed in the 3-match ODI series against West Indies but found his feet in the T20Is. Therefore, it doesn’t make any sense to rest him, especially considering there is a 2-match Test series, that will be part of the WTC 2021-23 cycle, coming up against Lanka.
“For batters, the thing is when you are in good touch it is better to continue playing as long as possible. Because we have often seen that in one single innings, if a batter scored 40 runs briskly, then gets stuck at the non-striker’s end for 1 or 2 overs and then when he returns to bat, he tends to lose that fluency.”
“Now, that Kohli’s fluency has returned with that knock in Kolkata, he has been rested that surprised me. He could have played one more game. For cricket it would been better as it would gear him up for the Test series,” he added.
Pandemic times have forced the selectors to cycle through the options as the bio-bubbles take a toll on the players’ mental health. As a result, there were a couple of fresh faces in the T20I squad for the Sri Lanka series.
India’s T20I squad for the Sri Lanka series:
Rohit Sharma (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Jasprit Bumrah (vc), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Avesh Khan.