Virat Kohli being dropped from the Indian team in any format may have been unthinkable even a year ago, but it is now appearing possible, at least for T20 international matches. The former India captain has gone three years without recording an international century, but this year has seen a startling decline in his overall performance.
In 16 innings of IPL play this season, Kohli only managed to score 341 runs at a pitiful strike rate of 115.98. He then managed to score 11 and 20 against England in the fifth Test. Kohli has also participated in just two T20 Internationals since the T20 World Cup ended last year.
Former India captain Kapil Dev has said that "Yes, now the situation is such that you might be forced to bench Kohli from T20 playing eleven. If world No. 2 bowler Ashwin can be dropped from Test side then (once upon a time) world No. 1 batter can also be dropped," Kapil told ABP News.
"Virat is not batting at a level which we have seen him do over the years. He has made a name because of his performances but if he isn't performing, then you can't keep the performing youngsters out of the team. I want competition for places in team in a positive sense that these youngsters should try and outperform Virat," Kapil, who had led India to their first World Cup title in 1983, further said.
Kohli is among the players who have been rested for India's upcoming series in the West Indies. He was also rested for India's first T20I against England on Thursday, which they won by 50 runs. Kapil feels that if Kohli is "rested" for the West Indies T20I, it would rather be considered as "dropped".
"You can call it rest and someone else will call it dropped. Every person will have his own view. Obviously, if selectors don't pick him (Kohli), then it could be because a big player isn't performing," he observed.
"Play in-form players when you have loads of options," said Kapil. "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," he concluded.