Kohli miss 1st T20I Personal Reasons. India batter Virat Kohli will not be in Mohali for the first T20I against Afghanistan, opting out for personal reasons.

Team India’s star batter, Virat Kohli, will not be available for the first T20I of the series against Afghanistan, starting January 11. The batting stalwart, who made his long-awaited return to the T20I squad in the three-match series, will miss the match due to personal reasons, head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed in a pre-match press conference on Wednesday. Kohli last played a T20I against England in the 2022 T20 World Cup semi-finals. Alongside the 35-year-old batter, Rohit Sharma also returned to the squad and is expected to lead the side in the opening match in Mohali.

Significant speculation over the return of the star duo of the side; the prospect of their return met with criticism from many fans, thanks to the emergence of multiple youngsters in their roles. Over the past year, many batters like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, and Ruturaj Gaikwad were impressed with solid performances in the top order. Tilak Varma and Rinku Singh also produced brilliant outings in the middle.

Kohli miss 1st T20I Personal Reasons.
Kohli miss 1st T20I Personal Reasons.

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T20 World Cup: Team Dynamics (Kohli miss 1st T20I Personal Reasons):

However, with the T20 World Cup approaching in June this year and Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav remaining absent due to injuries, the BCCI top brass placed its faith in the senior duo. Kohli secured the fourth position among the leading run-scorers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) last season, amassing 639 runs in 14 matches. Additionally, he claimed the top spot as the highest run-getter in the preceding T20 World Cup.

With Kohli absent from the first T20I, Gill will likely take over as no.3 in the Indian batting order, as Dravid confirmed Rohit and Jaiswal will open for the side. Tilak and Rinku will likely retain their spots in the XI, but there remains suspense on the first-choice wicketkeeper role, where Jitesh Sharma will be up against Sanju Samson.

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The T20I series against Afghanistan will be India’s last assignment in the shortest format before the T20 World Cup; the focus will shift to the five-Test series against England following the Afghanistan T20Is. The Indian Premier League season will likely occur across March, April, and May.

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