Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar reckons that it will be premature to debate whether or not Virat Kohli should be part of the Men in Blue’s 2024 T20 World Cup squad. He pointed out that another Indian Premier League (IPL) edition will be played before the next T20 World Cup and discussions about Kohli’s place should be held depending on his form at that point.
After Team India failed to win the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, rumors began doing the rounds that the skipper and Virat Kohli would be phased out from the T20I team.
Kohli, however, has been in stupendous form in T20 cricket over the last few months. In the ongoing IPL, he even smashed back-to-back hundreds and broke Chris Gayle’s record of most IPL tons. In a discussion over whether the senior batter should be part of India’s 2024 T20 World Cup squad, Gavaskar told Sports Tak:
“The next T20 World Cup will be played in 2024. There will be another IPL before that in March-April. His form should be observed at that point. There is no point talking about it now. If we are talking about an upcoming T20 international, say India are playing a match in June, then he definitely fits into the team, the kind of form that he has shown.
“But, speaking about the 2024 World Cup, which will be held in West Indies and America, the form of players needs to be observed in the IPL before that and then we can talk about selection for the World Cup squad.”
Kohli smashed 639 runs in 14 matches in IPL 2023 at an average of 53.25 and a strike rate of 139.82, with two hundreds and six fifties.
“In T20 cricket, even scoring 50 is difficult” – Gavaskar hails Kohli’s IPL exploits
Analyzing Kohli’s current form, Gavaskar reiterated that the 34-year-old fits into the scheme of things when to comes to India’s current T20I squad. Praising the batter for his excellent performances in IPL 2023, the former India captain said:
“Virat would definitely be in my T20I team on current form for India’s upcoming matches in the format. He has scored two hundreds [in IPL 2023]. Hitting two hundreds… in T20 cricket, even scoring 50 is difficult. This great batter has notched up two hundreds.
“If I was a selector and India were playing a T20 in June this year, I would, without doubt, pick him in the squad.”
Despite Kohli’s exploits, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) failed to qualify for the IPL 2023 playoffs. They went down to Gujarat Titans (GT) by six wickets in their last league game and finished sixth in the points table.