Virat, along with a few senior players including Team India's captain Rohit Sharma, was not named in the ODI squad for the series against West Indies. While Rohit was named in the T20I team that was picked subsequently, Virat was given a break for the entire limited-overs series.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra questioned the reason behind Virat's exclusion. He said:
"When you picked the ODI team, you didn't pick the T20I team. At that time, the biggest discussion point was that there is probably some concern regarding Virat's injury. But when you didn't have to put Virat Kohli's name at all, even though he played the second ODI, either he has asked for rest, that's another thing, you don't know if he has asked for rest or has been asked to rest because of his injury or workload management." [sic]
The cricketer-turned-commentator pointed out that Virat has missed a significant amount of cricket since the last T20 World Cup. He said:
"How much cricket has Virat Kohli played or missed after the T20 World Cup 2021, he hasn't played a lot of cricket honestly. He was rested for the three-match T20I series versus New Zealand and first Test against New Zealand, and then he was injured for the second Test against South Africa."
Highlighting the number of games the former Indian skipper has been missing from, he further stated:
"He was rested for the 3rd T20I versus West Indies, rested for the three-match series versus Sri Lanka before the IPL, he was not part of the South Africa T20Is as he had gone for the Test match, was injured for the first ODI against England and now he is missing the three-match ODI series and the five-match T20I series against West Indies."
It is certainly a catch-22 situation for the Indian selectors and team management to take a call on the amount of cricket the ace batter should be playing. Cricket experts have also expressed conflicting views on the decision taken. While some feel it is the right call, others want him to play as many games as possible.
"I hope this is the last one" - Aakash Chopra on Virat Kohli's break during the West Indies series
Aakash Chopra also expressed hope that the West Indies series is the last break Virat takes before the T20 World Cup later this year. He reasoned:
"It seems that he is missing a lot of cricket. It is not that he is in amazing form. This is an extended break, I hope this is the last one because you will get chances to score runs if you keep on playing. If you stop, the story gets stuck, there are difficulties for the wagon to again gather pace after that."
Chopra opined that the limited-overs series against West Indies would have been a great chance for Virat to regain his touch as the Caribbean side is arguably not as formidable.
Q. Will we see a rejuvenated Virat Kohli after his extended break from cricket?
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