Mohali, 11th January 2024: In a surprising turn of events, the star batsman and former Indian cricket captain, Virat Kohli, is set to miss the first T20 international against Afghanistan in Mohali. Confirming the news, head coach Rahul Dravid announced in a press conference yesterday that Kohli will be unavailable for the first match due to personal reasons. However, fans can breathe a sigh of relief as Kohli is expected to return for the second and third T20 internationals.
With Virat Kohli’s absence, the experienced Rohit Sharma will lead the Indian cricket team as captain in all three T20 internationals against Afghanistan. Both Rohit and Virat are making their T20 comeback for India after nearly a year, adding a layer of anticipation to the series.
In a setback for the Indian team, both Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav will miss the T20 series due to injuries. In their absence, Rohit Sharma will have to navigate the challenges with a reshuffled squad. The duo of Pandya and Yadav had been leading the team in the absence of Kohli and Sharma.
India’s head coach Rahul Dravid debunked reports of Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer’s T20I exclusion against Afghanistan due to discipline issues. Dravid clarified that Kishan requested a break for mental fatigue during the South Africa tour, and Iyer’s omission was not disciplinary but due to tough competition. Both players were absent based on personal decisions, with Kishan returning to domestic cricket when ready.
Mohali is currently experiencing cold weather, with heavy dew expected during the matches. The venue typically provides a good batting surface, favouring high-scoring encounters. However, the factor of dew could tilt the balance in favour of the chasing team, as history suggests that even formidable totals can be chased down easily in these conditions.
As the series unfolds, all eyes will be on Afghanistan’s bowling attack, brimming with unlimited potential, as they face off against India’s formidable batting lineup. The clash promises to be an exciting battle between two skilled cricketing nations, with fans eagerly awaiting to see how the series unfolds over the next few days.