Opinion: Is Virat Kohli’s decision to rest against Sri Lanka in ODIs correct?
It has been a sensational last couple of years for Team India across all three formats of the game, and when it comes to the longest format, they have been the undisputed champions in the last year and a half. They have played cricket mostly in familiar home conditions over the past two years and have won almost everything which has come their way. They lost just a solitary Test to Australia during their long home season last year and ended up winning 10 out of the 13 matches.
They have also won all their limited-overs series in the last year and a half and has been playing non-stop cricket. The current Indian team has an exceptional bench strength which has allowed most of the players to remain fit and healthy and manage their workload. Most of the players have been rotated on a consistent basis which has helped the injury prone ones recover in time.
The only player who has played continuous cricket for the last year and a half is none other than Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Following the long and grueling home season last year, Kohli was the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL where his franchise performed poorly and ended up winning just 3 out of the 14 group games.
There is no doubt about the fact that Kohli is arguably the fittest Indian cricketer if not the fittest in the world and the way he has maintained his shape despite playing non-stop cricket goes on to prove his immense mental toughness to go with his rigorous fitness regime. He gives utmost importance to fitness as he does for his batting and it is due to his influence that most of the members of this team are tremendous athletes.
Despite being young and one of the fittest cricketers around, Kohli is, after all, a human being and deserves rest before India travels to South Africa for a long tour comprising of 3 Tests, 6 ODI’s and 3 T20I’s. Keeping his workload in mind, the selectors have given him rest for the limited overs series against Sri Lanka comprising of 3 ODI’s and 3 T20I’s. Rohit Sharma who is the most successful IPL skipper will lead the Men in Blue in his absence.
Experts might argue with the fact that Kohli should have been part of the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka given his exceptional run of form, but they must also understand the fact that if Kohli sustains an injury ahead of the tour of South Africa, it will be disastrous for them. Despite Kohli’s absence, India will be the overwhelming favourites to seal both the ODI and T20I series, so this was a much-deserved rest for Kohli.
So as per my opinion, I feel that the selectors’ move to rest Kohli for the limited overs series against Sri Lanka is correct and a justified one especially with India scheduled for many overseas tours next year.
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