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Rahul Dravid Confirms Virat Kohli’s Absence For T20 Opener in Mohali Against Afghanistan
By CricShots - Jan 10, 2024 6:19 pm
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Head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed on Wednesday, January 10, that Virat Kohli will miss the first match of the upcoming 3-match T20I series against Afghanistan due to personal reasons. The bilateral series between India and Afghanistan is scheduled to commence on January 11, with the opening match taking place in Mohali.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli 

During the press conference on the eve of the first T20I, Coach Rahul Dravid announced that Kohli would join the squad for the 2nd and 3rd T20Is, scheduled for January 14 and 17 in Indore and Bengaluru, respectively.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were selected for the T20I series after weeks of speculation about their involvement in the shortest format of the game. Both players last participated in a T20I in November 2022 during the T20 World Cup semi-final in Adelaide. In the 50-over World Cup year in 2023, Rohit and Kohli focused on ODIs and Tests.

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It was revealed that both players made themselves available for selection ahead of the New Year’s T20I series against Afghanistan. Chief selector Ajit Agarkar traveled to Cape Town in the first week of January to discuss the plans of the two senior batters leading up to the T20 World Cup.

Rohit Sharma was named the captain of the T20I side for the Afghanistan series. Notably, Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav led India in T20Is in 2023 in Rohit’s absence. Both Hardik and Suryakumar missed the T20I series against Afghanistan due to injuries.

 

Rahul Dravid also clarified that the absence of Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from the T20I squad for the Afghanistan series was not due to disciplinary reasons, refuting media reports.

Dravid explained that there was no space for a batter like Shreyas Iyer, emphasizing the abundance of talented players. He confirmed that Ishan Kishan had not made himself available for selection after seeking a break ahead of the Test series in South Africa due to personal reasons.

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“Certainly, in Shreyas Iyer’s case, there is absolutely no disciplinary reason for his non-inclusion. It’s just that he missed out. There were a lot of batters in the team. Shreyas missed out, he didn’t play the T20Is in South Africa if you noticed. There are a lot of batters, and it’s not easy to fit everyone,” Rahul Dravid stated.

Indian squad for Afgjanistan series: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.