Star batter Virat Kohli himself asked for rest from the entire series against the West Indies, including the five T20Is, according to sources in the BCCI. It is also understood that the T20 squad for the tour of West Indies will be announced on July 11, one day after the shortest format series against England concludes. “It was team management’s decision to rest Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah for the ODI series along with skipper himself,” a senior BCCI source in the know of things told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
The five-match T20 series starts on July 29 in Tarouba, Trinidad followed by couple of matches in St Kitts (Aug 1 and 2) and it concludes in Florida on August 6 and 7 respectively.
“However for the T20I series, all others are playing but Kohli has himself asked for a break. He has informed that he will be available for all series after the West Indies tour,” the source informed.
It is understood that senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be recalled for the T20 series in the Caribbean and the USA leg.
“Ashwin is very much in the scheme of things and he will be playing the T20 series in the West Indies. Also Washington Sundar is still not fit to play and by the time he gets fit, he will be playing for Lancashire in County Championship and Royal London Cup,” he added.
While Kohli will get his break as he has sought but his place in the national T20 squad for the next big international assignment (Asia Cup in Sri Lanka) will depend on his T20 form in the two games that he will play against England beginning on Thursday.
In between, India are expected to play a short T20 series in Zimbabwe and just like in Ireland, a second string team is supposed to travel to the African nation.
KL Rahul is expected to be fit before the Asia Cup but if he recovers in time for the Zimbabwe tour, he will be part of that short series.
“Obviously, the stars will be rested for the Zimbabwe series as it will be followed by Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, home series against Australia and the team then travels to Australia for the World Cup,” the source said.
Deepak Chahar, who is recovering from a hamstring and back injury, is expected to be fit for Asia Cup starting August 27.
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