Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli    AFP
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli AFP

Since June 2017, Virat Kohli has played 21 ODIs, three Tests and three T20Is (1 abandoned). Considering Kohli would be playing the remaining two ODIs against New Zealand, he would be ending playing 23 ODIs. After the New Zealand tour, India are to play Sri Lanka for 3 Tests, 3 ODIs and 3 T20s from November to December. Post which they would also be touring South Africa from January to February.

With the hectic schedule in place and focus on the South Africa series, the skipper demands a break indeed. Kohli has told the BCCI about the same, Kohli has informed the BCCI that there are some personal reasons and that is why he won t be available in the month of December. Kohli has been playing non-stop cricket for quite sometimes now and he certainly would like to be fresh for South Africa tour in January, a board official was quoted by Indian Express.

If Kohli is rested for the T20I series as well as Sri Lanka tour, Rohit Sharma will don the captain’s hat. The last time Kohli missed a Test for India was in Dharamsala last year against Australia. Rohit has captaincy credentials in place, having led Mumbai Indians (MI) to three IPL titles and 1 CLT20 title.

Kohli was even questioned about his hectic schedule during the press-conference post the first ODI against New Zealand. New Zealand have not played any international game since the conclusion of Champions Trophy. Their outcome in the ODI series would be better than the Indian side, opined Kohli.

On Monday, the senior selection committee is expected to meet in Mumbai to pick teams for the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, Board President s XI against Sri Lanka and three-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are back

Meanwhile, there is good news for Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja fans. The spinners will be back in the Test squad after being overlooked for three consecutive limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, Australia and now New Zealand.

While selectors initially maintained that Ashwin and Jadeja were rested but in the interim, Ashwin played as many as six First-Class matches which includes four in the County Championship for Worcestershire and two in Ranji for Tamil Nadu.

On the other hand, Jadeja stunned many with his performance for Saurashtra in Round 1 of Ranji Trophy 2017-18. He scored a double-century and also scalped seven wickets.

Test specialists like Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha will be back in the squad. Murali Vijay if fit, KL Rahul will also be back for the Test matches.

In the bowlers front, Kuldeep Yadav is likely to become the third specialist spinner in the Test side. Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav are also set to make the longer version squad.

Shami has been in good form for Bengal, having taken 10 wickets in two games and more importantly bowled more than 80 overs.