Eng vs Ind – 2nd T20I 2022 – Kapil Dev

Take advantage of players who are in shape, don’t just rely on reputation and be prepared to make tough decisions, even if it’s someone of Virat Kohli’s caliber: this is essentially Kapil Dev’s message to the selectors of India as they build towards this T20 World Cup of the Year in Australia.

“Play in-form players when you have a lot of options,” Kapil told ABP News. “You can’t just rely on reputation, but you have to look for current form. You can be an established player, but that doesn’t mean you get chances, even if you fail five games in a row.”

Kapil was specifically asked if Kohli can fit into India’s current plans, given his own meager run and how well Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Hooda have performed in his absence.

Kohli is coming off a disappointing IPL where he passed Royal Challengers Bangalore just two half centuries. In all T20s in 2022, he has struck at 115 in the middle overs so far; Suryakumar, Hooda, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant have all scored in a faster clip during this period.

“Yes, there will be a headache, but he will have to perform better,” Kapil said. “If World No. 2 Test bowling Ashwin can be dropped from the Test side, your No. 1 batter can also be dropped.

“I hope Kohli scores points. And if there is a… [selection] challenge after that, it’s a big one. Right now Virat Kohli doesn’t play like the Kohli we know, the one who made him a legend through his performances.

“If he doesn’t perform, you can’t keep these guys.” [youngsters] from. I hope there is a healthy battle for the selection, the youngsters should try to outperform Kohli. But Kohli has to think, ‘yes at one point I was a big player, but I have to play as that number 1 player again’. That’s a problem for the team, it’s not a bad problem.”

Kapil was also not in favor of big players being locked out time and again in the name of ‘peace’. He felt that it should be merit to pick and drop someone.

“You can call it calm, you can drop it. Everyone will have their opinion,” he said. “Like you [selectors] If you didn’t pick him, you can say we gave the big players a break because they don’t perform.

“Kohli has a lot of talent and talent. You hope a player like that comes back. It’s not like you leave him out completely. If he doesn’t perform now, it’s fine [to leave him]† Young people play well. If you can keep Ashwin out, you can keep everyone out.”

Meanwhile, Wasim Jaffer, the former India opener, felt the pressure to perform might bring out Kohli’s best, but hoped the return of older players would not come at the expense of India’s new hitting method of going big from the get-go .

“Hooda’s performance will put pressure on Virat Kohli when he comes back,” he said. “You have a man who has done so well, performed consistently in the IPL and the T20Is. The pressure could bring out the best in Virat Kohli.

“The big boys that are missing, KL Rahul (after recovering from injury) and Virat, are coming back. But India will be happy to have the guys to support them. However, the approach needs to be similar. This is the kind of cricket that they have to play if they want to dominate this format. That’s what we want to see from the main players.”

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