Dropping Virat Kohli from the Indian team in any format may have been unthinkable even about a year ago.
However, owing to the sudden resurgence of young batters like Deepak Hooda, it is looking like a real possibility at least in T20 internationals.
The former India captain has not scored an international century for the last three years.
Even in the IPL, where the standard of bowling is much lower, Kohli has been unable to make a mark.
Kohli scored just 341 runs in 16 innings this season in the IPL at a poor strike rate of 115.98.
He then managed scores of 11 and 20 in the fifth Test against England.
There seems to be a mental as well as a technical problem. Even though, he has looked in good nick, Kohli has managed to throw away his wicket, due to a poor stroke.
It’s possible that he is feeling some anxiety that is affecting his judgement and ability to think clearly.
Kohli has played in just two T20Is since the end of the T20 World Cup last year.
This has not gone unnoticed by cricketing experts.
Former India captain Kapil Dev was brutal in his analysis.
Kapil has said that if ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin can be benched during Test matches, why can’t Kohli be left out of the T20I squad.
“Yes, now the situation is such that you might be forced to bench Kohli from T20 playing eleven.”
“If world No. 2 bowler Ashwin can be dropped from Test side then (once upon a time) world No. 1 batter can also be dropped.”
“Virat is not batting at a level which we have seen him do over the years. He has made a name because of his performances but if he isn’t performing, then you can’t keep the performing youngsters out of the team.”
“I want competition for places in team in a positive sense that these youngsters should try and outperform Virat.” – said Kapil
Kohli is among the players who have been rested for India’s upcoming series in the West Indies.
“You can call it rest and someone else will call it dropped. Every person will have his own view.”
“Obviously, if selectors don’t pick him (Kohli), then it could be because a big player isn’t performing,” he observed.
“Play in-form players when you have loads of options,” said Kapil.
“You can’t just go by reputation but you have to look for current form. You can be an established player but that doesn’t mean that you will be given chances even if you fail five games in a row,” he concluded.