Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Team India star batsman Virat Kohli has come under major scrutiny from several cricket fans and experts who believe that the iconic batter played a very slow innings in Royal Challenger Bengaluru’s (RCB) defeat to Rajasthan Royals (RR) in a recent Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Jaipur.

Though run-machine Kohli is dominating the batting charts at the ongoing IPL 2024, his strike rate has come under huge scanner in the league phase of the competition. Kohli’s 67-ball century sparked a huge debate and criticism after Faf du Plessis’ RCB were outplayed by RR.

Under the circumstance, Kohli’s place in the Indian squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled for June, is under threat. As per reports, Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) is not sure about Kohli’s spot in the Indian squad for the marquee event.

As per BCCI sources, the team management wants someone to play aggressive cricket at crucial No.1 spot and in-form batters like Shivam Dube and Ishan Kishan are best suited for the spot. Dube has impressed one and all with his aggressive batting exploits equally well both against spin and pace.

While Kohli is arguably the greatest IPL and T20I batsman, his strike rate, especially for the first half of his knocks, has come under the scanner. This could even be considered not being up to the modern T20 standards, where batters need to put a lesser price on their wickets.

The national selectors believe that Kohli hasn’t been able to cope with the team’s needs in the shortest format. Youngsters like Suryakumar Yadav, Rinku Singh, Tilak Varma and Dube are thought to be more suited to take the team forward.

Reports in some sections of media have stated that chief selector Ajit Agarkar has already spoken with Kohli about a much-needed change in his approach to cater to the demands of the T20 format. Under the circumstance, his performances in the ongoing IPL are closely watched. However, his slow approach towards batting at the top of the order is not going to help his cause at all.

Moreover, experts believe that Kohli’s batting will not be suitable on slow pitches of United States and the West Indies. They are also of the opinion that Kohli’s role as an anchor is not required in the shortest format of the game anymore. With the emergence of attacking options like southpaws Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dube at the top of order, Kohli’s chances to make it to the 15-member Indian squad remain bleak. 

Moreover, with India’s Mr 360 degree batter Suryakumar Yadav getting fully fit and ready for the slam and band version of batting to meet the requirement of modern day T20 cricket, selectors are going to have a severe headache to fit in Kohli in India’s scheme of things.