Virender Sehwag removes Virat Kohli from his T20 World Cup line-up

Former India opener Virender Sehwag has named his picks for the top three positions in the Indian batting line-up for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. Surprisingly, the Nawab of Najafgarh didn’t include former captain Virat Kohli in his squad for the mega event Down Under in what can be dubbed as a major snub to the 33-year-old India star. Instead of Virat Kohli, Virender Sehwag’s top order comprises Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan as his openers for the competition. KL Rahulon the other hand, will occupy Virat Kohli’s customary No.3 position.

Notably, it has been 91 innings across cricket’s three formats since Virat Kohli last made a century.

Remarkably, scoring a ton was once a habit for him as he reached three figures every seventh time he went out to bat. But since November 2019, when he became the first Indian to complete a century in a Day-Night Test match in Kolkata, Virat Kohli’s bat hasn’t been listening to his commands.

Even the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) failed to bring his batting to life as he endured another lean patch in the tournament.

Virat Kohli’s disastrous IPL ended with only 341 runs to his name which came at a dismal average of 22.73 in 16 games. What’s more, for the first time in his illustrious career, Virat Kohli was dismissed for golden ducks thrice in the same competition.

“India has options aplenty when it comes to hard hitters in T20s. However, I would personally vouch for Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and KL Rahul as the top three batters for the World Cup in Australia,” Virender Sehwag told news agency PTI,

“The right-hand and left-hand combination of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan, or for that matter, Ishan and KL Rahul could be quite interesting for the World T20,” he added.

“If there is one pacer who has thoroughly impressed me, of late, it is none other than Umran Malik. He should definitely be part of India’s plans as one of the key bowlers alongside the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami,” Sehwag insisted.

“This IPL has given us many promising young bowlers, but Umran’s skills and talent will definitely earn him a place in the Indian team across all three formats in the long run,” he remarked.

While Virender Sehwag did not include him in his Indian line-up for the T20 World Cup, the chorus for Virat Kohli’s return as Team India captain in the upcoming Test match against England grew louder after former Three Lions spinner Graeme Swann backed him to lead the side in the absence of Rohit Sharma.

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Regular skipper Rohit Sharma is currently in isolation after testing for COVID-19 on Saturday.

However, the chances of Rohit Sharma recovering in time for the fifth and final match of the series against England are grim.

With vice-captain KL Rahul also unavailable due to a groin injury, speculation has intensified about who would lead the Indian team in their absence.

Nevertheless, certain reports suggest that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is thinking about appointing either Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, or Rishabh Pant as skipper, Graeme Swann wants to see Virat Kohli back at the helm of affairs as he was the one who started it all in England last year.

While certain reports suggest that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is thinking about appointing either Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, or Rishabh Pant as skipper, Graeme Swann wants to see Virat Kohli back at the helm of affairs as he was the one who started it all in England last year.

India currently lead the five-match series 2-1 and if they manage to beat the hosts in the final game at Edgbaston it would be their first series win on English soil in 15 years. India last defeated England in a Test series at their home in 2007.

“You could say why not let Virat Kohli finish off the things he started and sort of have a final hoorah. Whether Virat would want to do that, I don’t know. I don’t think England will really mind. Maybe, if you think about Ben Stokes… He would quite like Virat Kohli to be captain then he could directly compare to how Joe Root’s team played against Virat Kohli’s,” Graeme Swann said in an interaction organized by Sony Sports Network ahead of the fifth Test against England.

“We saw a lot of the New Zealand players getting Covid but they recovered really quickly so I’m hoping Rohit would do the same and lead India,” he added.

“England won’t be too worried about who is India’s captain. They would be looking to put as much pressure as possible on the Indian batting unit and bowl them out. When we used to play against the Indian team, they had some great names, we always used to worry about how to get them out cheaply, it was never about who is captain,” Graeme Swann signed off.

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