Former India captain and legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev stated that India must prioritise playing in-form players over those with big reputations.
The form of former skipper Virat Kohli across all three formats over the past couple of years has been a cause of concern. In his absence, the likes of Deepak Hooda, have performed exceedingly well in the shortest format, playing an explosive brand of cricket.
Hooda, impressed with a century during the tour of Ireland and scored a quick-fire 33 in the first T20I against England. He could not retain his slot at the No.3 position for the second T20I, with Kohli returning to the side as India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. Kohli was dismissed for 1 by debutant Richard Gleeson.
Other players like Shreyas Iyer have also staked a strong claim to be a part of the Indian middle-order over the last year.
Weighing in on Kohli’s current place in the Indian T20I setup, Kapil Dev told ABP News, “Play in-form players when you have loads of options. You can’t just go by reputation, but you have to look for current form. You can be an established player but that doesn’t mean that you will be given chances even if you fail five games in a row.”
Dev also added that if a bowler with the pedigree of Ravichandran Ashwin could be left out of the Test side, so could Virat Kohli. Ashwin did not feature in a single game across the five-match Test series against England.
“If world No. 2 Test bowler Ashwin can be dropped from Test side then your No. 1 batter can also be dropped,” Kapil stated.
Kapil also believes that the competition for places would eventually turn out to be a positive thing for the Indian team, as they amp up the preparation for the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
“If he isn’t performing, you can’t continue to keep these boys out. I hope there’s a healthy fight for selection, the youngsters should look to outperform Kohli. But Kohli needs to think, ‘yes at one point I was a big player, but I need to play like that No. 1 player again’. That’s a problem for the team, it’s not a bad problem,” he concluded.