Reason revealed for Virat Kohli's absence from 1st T20I against Afghanistan
Ahead of India's first T20 against Afghanistan in the upcoming three-match series starting from January 11, head coach Rahul Dravid revealed that star batter Virat Kohli will miss the opener. The former India skipper has cited personal reasons to opt out of the match.
The series against Afghanistan will be crucial as this would be the final dress rehearsal ahead of the T20 World Cup, slated to be held in June. Only IPL 2024 will be the other metric for teams to fix their jigsaw ahead of the mega-event.
However, it's now been known that Virat Kohli will miss the first Afghanistan game to attend his daughter Vamika's birthday and spend time with family. Rahul Dravid, in his presser, has confirmed that Virat will be available for selection in the second and third T20 fixtures.
Rahul Dravid reveals the reason for the exclusion of key players
India's squad announcement for the series came with some surprises, notably the omission of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer from the 15-member squad, while Ishan Kishan's exclusion was a mystery. Clearing any air of ambiguity and ending all speculations, Dravid revealed there has been 'no disciplinary action' on Ishan Kishan and the wicketkeeper-batter was simply unavailable for selection.
Dravid said in the pre-match press conference, "There is no disciplinary reason. Ishan was not available for the selection. He had asked for a break during the South Africa tur and we agreed to. He has not made himself available for the selection yet and will play domestic cricket once he becomes available."
Offering insights into the team selection decisions, Dravid added, "Even in this series, people like Bumrah, Jadeja and Siraj have missed out keeping in mind that there are 5 Test matches against England next. So you are always playing that juggling act a little bit over the last 2 years.”