Virat Kohli Will Not Play 1st T20I Against Afghanistan. India Coach Rahul Dravid Says Reason Is…

The buildup to the India vs Afghanistan T20I series has been all about the return of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma into the T20I format. The star batters last played a T20I match at the 2022 T20 World Cup, where India lost in the semi-finals. Since then they have been limited to ODIs and Tests. However, for the last T20I series that India will play before the 2024 T20 World Cup, the Indian cricket team management recalled both. However, at the pre-match press conference, Rahul Dravid revealed that Virat Kohli will not be playing the first T20I against Afghanistan on Thursday.

According to a report in Cricbuzz, quoting sources, the BCCI selectors had discussions with Virat Kohli regarding expectations from him. The communication was regarding his role in the shortest format for India. In fact, BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar met him in Cape Town, according to the report.

Rahul Dravid on Wednesday revealed that Virat Kohli would miss the first T20I due to personal reasons and will be available for the second and third T20Is. He also said that Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma will open the batting.

The report added that it is not clear if such similar discussion took place with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill.

Virat Kohli boasts of a tally of 4008 in 115 matches at an average of 52.73. His strike-rate is 137.96.

Virat Kohli recently became the first batter to score 2000 runs in seven different calendar years during India’s crushing defeat to South Africa in the 1st Test on Thursday.

Dean Elgar‘s elegant 185 combined with South Africa’s precise pace flattened India within three days.

When the rest of the batters failed to deal with the deadly pace trio of Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen and Nandre Burger, Kohli churned up runs with quick singles and boundaries.

He scored 76 off 82 balls during India’s defeat by an innings and 32 runs, which took his tally to 2006 runs in 2023.

He had previously achieved the feat in 2012 (2186 runs), 2014 (2286 runs), 2016 (2595 runs), 2017 (2818 runs), 2018 (2735 runs) and 2019 (2455 runs).

With ANI inputs

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