Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli Credits: Twitter

Virat Kohli‘s much-awaited return to T20I cricket has been delayed as he has been ruled out of the first T20I of the upcoming three-match series against Afghanistan.

The three-match series is scheduled to get underway on Thursday (June 11) in Mohali. The series will mark the return of Virat Kohli as well as Rohit Sharma in T20Is. Both the senior batters have not played a T20I for Team India since the semifinal loss against England in the 2022 T20 World Cup.

Many assumed that the days of the senior batters in T20I were behind them, given their absence from the format for over a year. However, the selectors have sprung a big surprise by including both veterans in the squad for India’s final T20I series before the impending T20 World Cup in June. Adding to the unexpected turn of events, Rohit Sharma has also been given the responsibility to lead the side.

Virat Kohli out of series-opener:

While the fans were eagerly waiting for Virat Kohli’s return in T20Is, the star batsman will not be playing the first game, according to Dainik Jagran’s Abhishek Tripathi. The senior journalist took to X to reveal that the former India skipper as well as Rohit failed to reach Mohali in time. They could not join the team by noon on Wednesday (January 10) and are expected to land in Mohali by evening.

“Such a schedule and such a team has been made that the captain and the former captain could not reach with the team a day before the series. The match is to start from tomorrow. Kohli and Rohit have not come with the team. The team has reached Mohali in pieces. PCA says that both the players will reach Mohali airport at 5 pm by chartered plane,” he wrote on X.

He further reported that Virat Kohli won’t be playing the first T20I against Afghanistan.

While missing Virat Kohli will be a big blow, India do have enough firepower in their batting department. The likes of Rohit, Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma and Rinku Singh are available as batting options for the first game.