Trolls swear at India’s chief selector after Virat Kohli controversy

Trolls abused Ajit Agarkar after controversy erupted after reports of Team India batter Virat Kohli’s exclusion from the T20 World Cup squad.

Trolls abused India’s chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar after controversy erupted following reports of premier batter Virat Kohli’s exclusion from the squad for the T20 World Cup, which will be held in the West Indies and the US later this year.


This came after an Indian media outlet claimed that Ajit Agarkar has been asked by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) top brass to convince Virat Kohli to make way for youngsters in the team for the T20 World Cup.


“While the powers-that-be in Indian cricket are tight-lipped, it is understood that Virat Kohli is not a certainty for the showpiece event in the US and the West Indies in Jun,” the newspaper said. 


Interestingly, the dilemma over Virat Kohli’s place in India’s T20 squad for the World Cup comes despite the Delhi-born cricketer being the highest run-getter in the last edition of the competition in Australia in 2022.


Moreover, if one talks about strike rate, which is the most crucial factor for a batter in T20Is, Virat Kohli’s strike rate was much better than Rohit Sharma’s in the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.


Unlike Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma hasn’t been in the best of forms in T20Is. The 36-year-old made only 656 runs at an average of 24.29 and a strike rate of 134.42 in T20Is in 2022, the last year he featured for Team India in the format.


In contrast, Virat Kohli was a prolific scorer in 2022, scoring 781 runs in 20 T20I matches at a superb average of 55.78 and a strike rate of 138.23.


Despite that, Rohit Sharma would captain India in the T20 World Cup, with BCCI’s all-powerful Secretary Jay Shah confirming the development to the media earlier this year. 


“We may have lost the final of the 2023 ODI World Cup. But we won hearts there by winning 10 matches in a row. I would like to say that I am confident that India will lift the 2024 T20 World Cup under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy at Barbados,” Jay Shah said in Rajkot last month.


On the contrary, he was non-committal about Virat Kohli’s role in the upcoming ICC event.


“We will discuss Virat’s role in due course,” Jay Shah noted at the same function.


This alleged discrimination between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma by the BCCI didn’t go unnoticed on social media, where a section of cricket admirers highlighted that while the latter hasn’t performed at all in big-ticket T20 events, the former has been exceptional, to say the least in such competitions.


In this background, social media users exposed Team India’s hypocrisy over Virat Kohli’s place in the Rohit Sharma-led side for the forthcoming T20 World Cup amid reports that the talismanic batter would not be included among the 15 men that would board the flight for the West Indies and the US in June.


Furthermore, “Shame on BCCI” found a place among the social media network X’s top trends after fans claimed that Team India’s think tank, including captain Rohit Sharma, head coach Rahul Dravid, and the chief of the national selection committee, Ajit Agarkar, were contemplating about dropping Virat Kohli from the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.  


According to the report, the Indian selectors believe that Virat Kohli cannot come to terms with the demands of modern T20 cricket, wherein a batter is expected to go ballistic from the word go, and hence the likes of Rinku Singh, who has done exceedingly well for India in his short career are better suited to feature in the marquee competition.


It is worth noting that in the 15 T20I matches that Rinku Singh has played for India, his strike rate stands at a phenomenal 176, making him an almost automatic choice for selection in the T20 World Cup squad. 


Yet, all is not lost for Virat Kohli. The report stated further that the national selectors would be hard-pushed to include him if he does exceedingly well for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).


Recently, ex-Team India spinner Harbhajan Singh predicted that Virat Kohli could recapture his 2016 form in the IPL when he led RCB to the final where they lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final. 


Virat Kohli smashed 973 runs at an average of over 81 in that edition of the elite T20 tournament, a record which stands to date.


“It’s important for him to have a season like 2016, because if Virat goes on to score runs, the team will go forward,” Harbhajan Singh observed.


In addition to the fans, the reports of Virat Kohli’s exclusion from the squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup left England fast bowler Stuart Broad fuming.


“This can’t be true. Just from a fans point of view of growing the game, the ICC putting games on in America, India Vs Pakistan in New York, Virat is the biggest draw of any player in the world, I’m sure he will be selected,” Stuart Broad posted on X.

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Pawan Atri is a writer for ClutchPoints.

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