There is no shortage of superlatives – well deserved most of them – for Virat Kohli, but the Indian selectors, in collusion with Surrey, might have given him a task even Superman King Kohli might struggle to fulfil.
Surrey’s website says: “Kohli will be available for all cricket throughout the month [of June] until the close of Surrey’s trip to Scarborough to face Yorkshire [June 25 to 28].” On Tuesday, though, the Indian selectors named Kohli the captain for the T20Is in Ireland, to be played on June 27 and 29. Surrey have time and again made it a point to say Kohli is available to them through the month of June. And if the match in Scarborough goes the distance, it is hard to see how Kohli can make it to even the second T20I in Ireland. Wonder what the Indian selectors have in mind.
Five takeaways from India’s squad announcements for Ireland and England ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Is Rohit Sharma the Test batsman out of favour?
“It’s funny how things change in a matter of weeks, or just about five days. Before the first Test, no one thought that he [Ajinkya Rahane] should be in the XI, and now suddenly people are looking at the other option [ahead of Rohit Sharma, who played the first Test ahead of Rahane].”
This was Virat Kohli on the eve of the second Test in South Africa. It is funny how things have changed in another five days’ time. Rohit had another ordinary Test, following the Cape Town failure with one in Centurion, was dropped for Johannesburg, and now finds himself out of the Afghanistan Test in Bengaluru. Apart from Kohli, who is away to play county cricket during the month at India play Afghanistan, Rohit is the only specialist batsman from the last Test side who is excluded. ESPNcricinfo has been told the selectors found his performance in South Africa “less than satisfactory”. Now they want to give Karun Nair a run before they make a decision for the big England tour.
Signs are not good if you are Rohit. Nair is part of the A tour too, as captain of the four-day squad. If India wanted to invest more in Rohit, they would have sent him over for the A tour at least. There are no reports of Rohit trying to hook up with any county either. If India do take the big step of not taking Rohit to England, it will be the first time since the England tour in 2011 that India will travel for a Test series without him.
Is Ajinkya Rahane the ODI batsman out of favour?