HomeCricketShouldn't Virat Have Sat Out Of The West Indies...

Shouldn’t Virat Have Sat Out Of The West Indies Tour?

- Advertisement -

A few hours back two different pieces of news arrived in the Cricket world. For a change, they didn’t concern the widely talked about Eng v NZ Lord’s thriller. Indeed, what a game it was. First, the new ICC ODI rankings revealed the West Indies had plunged further down to 9th on the list, another round of poor news for Jason Holder’s team. Before the 2019 World Cup began, they were already tottering at 8. Second, despite there being a round of rumors concerning his participation in the West Indies tour, it was told that Virat Kohli would be boarding the flight to the Caribbean next month.
But what was interesting about these different snippets of news was that they had absolutely nothing in common and yet, connected the two teams that they concerned.
A persistent rumor surrounding the Indian captain was that Virat Kohli along with Bumrah could be given a ‘rest’, perhaps in lines with two having burned themselves out in what was an elaborate tour.
Make no mistake, Kohli did his share of run-making having struck 5 glorious half-centuries even as he missed out on a big, meaningful three-digit score, something that may have further raised his graph.
But now as the report confirming Virat Kohli’s participation in a series featuring a team that’s nearly a bottom-dweller in ICC rankings arrives, the mind can’t help but ask a question.

Is Virat Kohli absolutely, incredibly important for the West Indies tour?

Virat Kohli
Kohli won’t be rested for WI tour (Zee news)

Shouldn’t he make a place for someone else in a batting line-up that most likely will include accomplished batsmen like Rohit, Dhoni, Rahul, Karthik, Pant and should he recover in time, then Dhawan?
Surely, the likes of Pandya and Pant will travel to the Caribbean in what’ll be the Delhi batsman’s maiden tour of the West Indies.
So any doubts regarding experience and ebullience in the squad are instantly grassed like an impossible catch. The moment you add Kohli to that list, you get a line-up that goes from boasting of power-hitters into being a tall order of fluent run-scorers.
In the just-concluded World Cup, at least 4 of the aforementioned were among regular runs. It seemed Sharma and Virat Kohli had gotten into a knack of scoring hundreds and fifties regularly.
They even scored plentiful of runs on tracks where the ball bit batsmen and scoreboards didn’t reveal lavish runs.
While Rohit Sharma scored 648- the most by any batsman in World Cup- his usual opening partner struck 125, including a sensational ton against Australia, from 2 games.
Dhoni collected 273 runs and remained unbeaten on two occasions while Kohli himself amassed 443 runs.
That India played and got the better of some of the best bowling attacks that can be understood by their dominance against Australia (Starc and Cummins), Pakistan (Aamir and Afridi), South Africa (Rabada and Tahir), and Afghanistan (Rashid Khan and Mujeeb).

- Advertisement -

Moreover, batsmen, not in the least Virat Kohli, hammered West Indies

Kohli scored a fluent 72 in that game that the West Indies seemed in a bit of a hurry to tackle, in the end plotting their own downfall. Their fans won’t forget that they were bundled out for 143 even as 15 overs remained to be bowled.
In that game, Rahul, Dhoni, and Pandya were all among runs. On that count, shouldn’t an opportunity be extended to the likes of Shaw and Gill?

While Shubman Gill’s just played 2 ODIs, Shaw’s yet to debut.

Virat Kohli
The Windies tour could be Shaw’s ODI debut, but will it? (Sportskeeda)

Can there be a better chance than have Shaw flex his muscles down in the Caribbean, against a side he welcomed with both hands when the opportunity came in 2018 (in Tests)?
Truth be told, the West Indies, despite giving a glimpse of their match-winning fast-bowling potential in- Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas- are yet to take giant strides toward that long-awaited comeback in international cricket.
If you just handle Gabriel and keep Roach (129 and 184 Test wickets respectively) aside for even a second- then the West Indies don’t offer much bite given that their bowling options read Jason Holder with medium pace and Roston Chase with slow right-arm bowling.

Does that unit terrorize you?

Virat Kohli
The Windies still don’t have matchwinners in ODIs (Network 18)

To not have Virat Kohli on the tour would still leave India with a team comprising of Dhoni, Karthik, Rohit at the helm of affairs. India’s batting department will still appear robust given the likes of Pandya and Pant will bat around the Trinity.
And beyond the usual rigamarole of selection- who’ll stay in, who’ll miss out- what the selectors must think is that there’ll be a great opportunity to have someone like Mayank Agarwal, already 28, get more exposure.
He’s someone who’s got tons of runs against his name already, 3964 in first-class cricket, to be precise. Shouldn’t he, therefore, be made to feature in the Tests?
A stoic, dependable and old-fashioned disciplined cricketer, Agarwal collects runs at a better rate than Pujara and together the two can dismantle bowling attacks. Remember, in the longest format, India will still have to deal with the problem with plenty as both Pant and Karthik can keep as can Wridhiman Saha.

But the news seems to suggest Kohli will participate even in Tests.

Virat Kohli
Will Agarwal get to feature in the Tests, at least? (Money Control)

The question that India must consider but seems unlikely to at the end is whether an accomplished, world-class batsman, someone who’s already made a mark for himself can be rested at the cost of giving other rising cricketer’s a break?
After all, with an aging Dhoni on the one hand and a team often reliant on Kohli and Rohit, who are the possible future rescuers of India around whom the core of the batting can be built?
Surely, had this been a series against a Rabada, Phelukwayo, and Ngidi powered South Africa or a Cummins, Starc, and Hazlewood powered Australia then not playing Virat Kohli (deliberately) would’ve been suicidal.
But this is the West Indies. They won’t come at you akin to a nearly demonic pace battery that once boasted of the famous four. The likes of Malcolm Marshal and Andy Roberts or Courtney Walsh and Curtly are long gone.
An unlikely revival often seems a likely reality when the likes of a Shai Hope, Darren Bravo and as seen recently, then Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer get going. It’s a different unit altogether when Holder along with Gayle supports the able youngsters.
Virat Kohli
Kohli’s scored dozens of runs already in all formats (Crictracker)

But can a number 9 side in international cricket gobsmack an army of experienced matchwinners? Doesn’t India with Kohli in it also show its overreliance on the showman?

- Advertisement -
Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -