Legendary all-rounder and 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev feels that when ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin can be dropped, then out-of-form Virat Kohli should be axed too from the Indian team.
Virat Kohli hasn't scored a century in international cricket since November 2019 and has been in a lean patch across all formats.
With players like Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer in the mix, it is getting tougher for Kohli to own a place in the playing eleven, especially with the Men's T20 World Cup happening in Australia in October-November.
"Now the situation is such that you might be forced to bench Kohli from the T20 playing XI. He will have to perform better. If World No.2 bowler Ashwin can be dropped from the Test side, then (the) World No.1 batter can also be dropped.
"Virat Kohli has still a lot of ability and talent. You hope such a player comes back (to form). It's not as if you completely leave him out. If he isn't performing now, it's fine (to leave him out). Youngsters are playing well. But the day Virat scores runs, can you keep him out? If you can keep Ashwin out, you can keep anyone out," said Kapil to ABP News.
Talking further about Kohli's poor form and the rising competition from young cricketers, Kapil remarked, "At the moment, Virat is not batting at a level which we have seen him do over the years. He has made a legendary name for himself because of his performances. But if he isn't performing, you can't continue to keep these boys (young players) out.
"I hope there is a healthy fight for selection; the youngsters should look to outperform Virat Kohli. But Kohli needs to think, 'yes, at one point I was a big player, but I need to play like that No. 1 player again'. That's a problem for the team which is not a bad one."
Kapil slams rest, rotate policy
Kapil didn't like the fact that Indian players were being rested constantly and wanted clear reasoning behind giving players rest.
"You can call it rest and someone else will call it dropped, it depends on what a human being thinks. Every person will have his own view. Obviously, if selectors don't pick him (Kohli), then it could be because a big player isn't performing and youngsters are doing that."