BCCI selection committee chairman Sandeep Patil on Tuesday said that India Test skipper Virat Kohli has been advised rest by the team’s physiotherapist Patrick Farhart after the completion of the IPL and before the Test tour of West Indies in July-August. Kohli has been performing for India in all the formats of the game over the past year or so and has been in stupendous form for IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore with 919 runs in 15 games. Kohli recently sustained a split webbing on his left hand while fielding against Kolkata Knight Riders as he went for a diving catch.
Patil alongside BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke announced the squads for the Zimbabwe tour which comprises of three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals T20Is starting on June 11 and also for the four away Tests against West Indies. “The report that we got from Patrick was that Ashish Nehra was ruled out due to hamstring injury. Murali Vijay was declared not fit for Zimbabwe tour, and the same with Kohli,” Patil said at a press conference after announcing the squads for both tours.
“Though he (Kohli) has played in the IPL, he has been advised rest after the tournament by Patrick ahead of the West Indies tour.”
The West Indies-bound Test squad will be led by Kohli while Ajinkya Rahane will be his deputy. Mumbai pacer Shardul Thakur is the lone new face in the side. “Except those three names, all players are fit. Shami was picked for Tests as after recovering from injury he played in domestic cricket and also in the IPL,” Patil said
Dhoni will lead a new-look young side for Zimbabwe. Many of the senior members including Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rahane have been rested for the Zimbabwe tour which will see the likes of Vidarbha opener Faiz Faisal, Punjab batsman Mandeep Singh and Haryana spin duo of Jayant Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal as fresh faces.
When asked why veterans Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh were ignored for both the tours and if the duo is heading towards retirement, the selection committee chief pointed out that the panel is looking at the future. He also added that they don’t have the right to force anyone to retire. “Selectors have no right to tell anyone to retire. We are looking at future of Indian cricket. We will be happy if they perform well and will be happy to get them back,” Patil said.