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Why Virat Kohli should have been rested for the West Indies series instead of Asia Cup

1.84K   //    15 Sep 2018, 21:28 IST

Kohli will be sorely missed in the Asia Cup both as a leader and as a batsman
Kohli will be sorely missed in the Asia Cup both as a leader and as a batsman

The Indian selectors have decided to rest Virat Kohli for the Asia Cup. India would have been better off had Kohli been rested for the home series against the West Indies instead of the more prestigious Asia Cup.

Here are the logical reasons for such a course of action

# Kohli has been in tremendous form the whole of English summer. Any break from International cricket, when in good form, would certainly affect his flow and rhythm.

# Indians are coming off from a poor series in England which England won by a 4-1 margin. The team needs its captain after the debacle in England. Though there has been a change in personnel for the one day format of the game, the one day specialists coming into the team cannot simply match the form and class of Kohli.

# The Asia Cup is a prestigious tournament involving the other giants of Asia. Kohli should have been there to lead from the front.

# The format of the 14th edition of the Asia Cup is such that there is every chance of India playing a minimum of two matches, if not three, against arch-rivals Pakistan. If both the teams qualify for the final, they may end up playing three matches against each other. 

India and Pakistan have not met frequently in recent times. There is all the more reason for Team India to go with full strength against traditional rivals Pakistan in the limited matches they get to play against each other. India and Pakistan matches are pressure cooker situations and the presence of Kohli for such matches would have been invaluable.

# The expected presence of dew in UAE at this time of the year may force the Indian Captain to opt to bowl first should he win the toss to bring into play his two wrist-spinners, Kuldeep and Chahal. This may necessitate India to chase down targets and who else can do that better than Kohli. So on that count too, Kohli will be missed.

# India will certainly miss the brains of Kohli in successfully employing the two wrist-spinners as an attacking option. Besides, his overall leadership will be missed.

# Lasith Malinga is back for Sri Lanka and he is a dangerous bowler with his deadly yorkers. The one another Indian batsman, other than Dhoni, who can render Malinga ineffective is Kohli. Malinga and Mohammad Amir of Pakistan are deadly dangerous for the Indian openers. The fact that there is no Kohli to follow will play on the minds of the Indian openers.

# As far as the home series against the weaker opponent West Indies are concerned, India could have easily managed without Kohli. Suddenly India would find itself with so many in-form batsmen to pick up from. In such a scenario, the absence of Kohli would not have been felt. Kohli could have got his well-deserved break before the Australian tour.

In hindsight, India should have been immensely benefitted by the presence of Kohli in the Asia Cup rather than in the home series against the West Indies. But the die has been cast.

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A Company Secretary by profession and a passionate cricket fan by choice. Following the game for the last 35 years.
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