India vs West Indies: More ‘rest’ adds fuel to Virat Kohli debate


 Virat Kohli has been rested for the entire white-ball tour of West Indies after he requested BCCI for a break. On July 7, TOI had exclusively reported that Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah were unlikely to play the five-match T20I series following the three-match ODI series in the Caribbean that starts on July 22.

TOI has learned Kohli has assured the board that he would be available for Asia Cup (late August) onwards. His efforts have put his place in the T20I playing XI under scrutiny with the T20 World Cup barely three months away.

“The team management and selectors liked to play a full-strength T20I team from the ongoing England tour. But Kohli insisted he wanted a break and didn’t wish to travel to West Indies,” a BCCI source told TOI on Thursday.

Kohli being rested for the white-ball tour of West Indies means he is realistically left with just the T20 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka in late August and the three T20Is against Australia after that to make a case for his worth in India’s T20I side, if he’s indeed in the selectors’ plans in this format of the game. India are going to send a second-string white-ball team to Zimbabwe in August and Kohli is unlikely to be part of that team too.

Moving on from Kohli, opener KL Rahul, who recently underwent a surgery for sports hernia in Germany, and Kuldeep Yadav, who was hit on his hand in the nets just before the India-South Africa T20I series, have been picked in the 18-member squad subject to clearing a fitness test. Jaspreet Bumrah has been rested to monitor his workload. Rohit Sharma, Rishab Pant and Hardik Pandya needed a breather from the ODIs," a BCCI source told TOI on Thursday. 

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