EXCLUSIVE - 'Virat Kohli A Role Model, Deserves To Be In India's T20I WC Squad': Syed Kirmani

In an exclusive interview with Dainik Jagran, Syed Kirmani called Virat Kohli a "role model", asking the selectors to show patience with the 33-year-old, who has 70 international centuries to his name.

By Aalok Sensharma
Updated: Tue, 19 Jul 2022 03:56 PM IST
Minute Read
EXCLUSIVE - 'Virat Kohli A Role Model, Deserves To Be In India's T20I WC Squad': Syed Kirmani
Virat Kohli in action during a match. (Photo: ANI)

Former India skipper Virat Kohli has been awfully out of form, leaving fans and cricket pundits in a state of confusion about whether he deserves to be in the squad for the T20I World Cup this year. However, former India wicket-keeper batsman Syed Kirmani feels it would be a big mistake if the selectors drop Kohli from the T20I World Cup Squad.

In an exclusive interview with Dainik Jagran, Kirmani - a member of the 1983 World Cup winning squad - called Kohli a "role model", asking the selectors to show patience with the 33-year-old, who has 70 international centuries to his name.

"Virat Kohli has loads of experience. He should be in the T20I World Cup squad. Once Kohli returns to form, he will be unstoppable. He could be a game-changer. A player with Kohli's experience and abilities deserves to be in the World Cup squad," Kirmani said.

Kirmani, 72, who has played 88 Tests and 49 one-day internationals (ODIs) for India, also advised the selectors to select a "balanced team" for the T20I World Cup, which would be held in Australia this year. He believes the team should include "50 per cent youngsters and 50 per cent experienced players".

"There's a tough competition in the Indian team. Look if someone else was going through the rough patch from which Virat Kohli is going, he would have been dropped from the team by now. But I feel that an established player like Virat should be in India's squad," Kirmani told Dainik Jagran.

Kohli last scored his international century in 2019. In the recently concluded T20I series against England, Kohli managed to score just 12 runs in two games. His dry run also continued in the three-match ODI series, where he scored 33 runs from two games.

However, skipper Rohit Sharma has backed Kohli, saying the team management is standing with the 33-year-old.

"I mean it is a part and parcel (of the game), whichever cricket a player plays, it happens in everyone's career. So a player who has played for so long, who has scored so many runs, who has won so many matches, he just needs one or two innings, which is what I think, I'm sure that is what everyone would think and whoever watches cricket. We know on this topic there are discussions happening," Rohit said.

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