Virat Kohli to miss the first T20I match against Afghanistan

Virat Kohli, the former India skipper, will be missing the first T20I match against Afghanistan due to personal reasons, as announced by head coach Rahul Dravid in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday. However, Virat Kohli will be available for the next two matches, and his absence in the first match will provide an opportunity for other players to step up and showcase their skills.

The absence of Kohli, who last played in the shortest format in November 2022, will be felt, but the team is confident in the abilities of the other players. Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma will be opening the innings for India, as revealed by Dravid. This will be an exciting opportunity for the duo to prove their mettle and provide a strong foundation for the team’s batting order.

Dravid about Rinku Singh

Meanwhile, talking about the swashbuckling Rinku Singh and his chances for the upcoming T20 World Cup, Dravid said, “Rinku has started very well in international cricket. He is pretty adept in the role of a finisher, something that we want from him. The series against Afghanistan as well as the IPL are platforms for him to develop. When it comes to the selection for the World Cup, that’ll be done when it’s time. But obviously if a player gives good performances, he catches the eye of the selectors.”

Virat Kohli

The three-match contest against Afghanistan will be India’s last before the T20 World Cup in June, giving the team more clarity on where it stands ahead of the ICC event in the Americas. The team is confident in its abilities and is looking forward to the challenge.

Preparation for T20 World Cup 2024

When asked about their preparation going into the World Cup, Dravid said, “There’s been quite a few ICC events in the last few years and a lot of them were back-to-back. So, there hasn’t been a lot of time in between these events so at various stages in the last couple of years that I have been here, we had to prioritise certain formats and certain tournaments simply because of the amount of cricket being played. It’s impossible for all the players to be playing all the time so we have always had to prioritise on what is important, especially for the guys playing all three formats. Even in this series, people like Bumrah, Jadeja and Siraj have missed out keeping in mind that there are 5 Test matches against England next. So, you are always playing that juggling act a little bit over the last 2 years.”

He further added, “Obviously for the large part of last year and after the last T20 World Cup, we had to prioritise the One Day World Cup. There’s not a lot of games after the ODI World Cup in terms of the T20 format. So, this T20 World Cup is slightly different from that perspective in the sense that there hasn’t been a lot of time to prepare for it so we had to rely on the cricket we have and also a little bit on the IPL. The boys will play T20 cricket, here as well as the IPL. We might not get many opportunities to play together so we just have to work around that and adapt.”

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and other Senior Players

The team is well aware of the challenges that lie ahead and is working hard to overcome them. The absence of Kohli will undoubtedly be felt, but the team is confident in the abilities of the other players to step up and deliver. The series against Afghanistan and the upcoming IPL will provide the perfect opportunity for the team to gel together and fine-tune their skills before the T20 World Cup.

India has a strong squad, with a good mix of experienced players and young talent. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and KL Rahul have been in good form recently, and the team will be relying on them to provide a strong foundation for the batting order. The bowling unit, led by Jasprit Bumrah, has also been performing well, and the team will be looking to them to provide breakthroughs and contain runs.

The T20 World Cup is going to be a challenging tournament, with many strong teams participating. However, India has a good chance of doing well, given their recent performances and the talent they have at their disposal. The team will be looking to peak at the right time and make a strong impression in the tournament.

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