The Indian T20I and ODI squads for the upcoming limited-overs series against Sri Lanka were announced earlier this week; while skipper, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul are named in the ODI team, all three were excluded from the T20I squad. India will be hosting the islander for 3 T20Is with Hardik Pandya will be leading the men in blue. A number of fans and former cricketers expressed their surprise at the decision to exclude Virat Kohli – who was the highest run-getter in the T20 World Cup.
Kohli played an unbeaten knock of 82 in India’s opening game of the tournament against Pakistan, steering India out of trouble to eventually help the side chase down a 160-run target. India’s former wicket-keeper batter Saba Karim was “surprised” by Kohli’s omission from the squad, insisting that India would have lost the game against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup game if Kohli hadn’t been in the XI.
During a recent chat with India News, Virat Kohli said, “Virat Kohli’s exclusion came as a big surprise. He was given a particular role in T20Is, and he was exceptional in that. We would have lost to Pakistan if he hadn’t been there at the T20 World Cup.”
He further added, “He is one such player who has given the team great stability in the format. Apart from Kohli, all the other absentees have missed out due to their underwhelming performances.”
However, Saba Karim also stated that Kohli can make a return to the team, and doors certainly aren’t closed on his T20I career.
Explaining his opinion, Saba Karim said, “It doesn’t mean that players who aren’t a part of the T20 squad for the Sri Lanka series won’t be able to make a comeback. If some of the new guys don’t do well, they will have to replace them. So the likes of Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant can return to the team if that happens.”