Reports: Virat Kohli likely to be rested for upcoming tour of Bangladesh
According to a report in the Indian Express, Virat Kohli has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to allow him to skip India’s upcoming tour of Bangladesh in order to recharge his batteries. Kohli, like most of the other top Indian players, has been playing non-stop cricket for the last few months, having been involved in India’s gruelling Test series against Australia followed by the World Cup and the ongoing IPL.
If Kohli’s wish is granted, India would need a new Test captain for the one-off Test match against Bangladesh. After MS Dhoni’s sudden decision to retire from Test cricket after the 3rd Test against Australia in Melbourne last year, the 26-year-old took over on a full-time basis starting from the 4th and final Test match in Sydney.
The likes of Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin, who are among the senior figures in what is a largely inexperienced side, could be possible candidates for the captaincy in that case.
The 5-man selection panel, led by chairman Sandeep Patil, is set to pick the squad for both the solitary Test match and the 3-match ODI series on May 20, and it won’t be a huge surprise if the squad consists largely of second-choice players as a BCCI source confirmed that some of the other senior players have also asked for a break.
“Kohli has confirmed that he wants a break. Many senior players don’t want to travel to Bangladesh as they already have been touring a lot over the past one year. Few of them have requested for a break but the BCB wants at least some of the key players to be sent to Bangladesh as it will keep some interest alive with the TV viewers,” the source said.
Appointment of a new Indian coach not imminent: BCCI source
There have also been indications that the coaching staff that was with the Indian team during their tour of Australia will be retained for the Bangladesh series, with the obvious exception of Duncan Fletcher whose contract expired after the World Cup.
As far as Fletcher’s replacement is concerned, there is not likely to be any decision made for at least another month or so with the board not yet having started the shortlisting of candidates.
“We haven’t short-listed names of potential candidates who we think can coach the Indian team. The process is still in progress and it will take another month or so,” the source added.
India’s tour of Bangladesh commences on June 10 with a one-off Test at Fatullah. The three ODIs will be played on June 18, June 21 and June 24.