England vs India: Virat Kohli won’t be there in my T20I side, says Ajay Jadeja

Former India batter Ajay Jadeja said on Saturday that he would not go for Virat Kohli in his T20 line-up, saying India have to make a call on whether the former captain fits what seems to be their new template of playing aggressive T20I cricket.

Ajay Jadeja said there are two clear-cut options for the skipper and the team management to make when it comes to their T20i style and when it comes to Virat Kohli’s future, it becomes a tough call.

Jadeja’s comments came in the lead-up to the 2nd T20I against England, which India won by 49 runs. India brought back Virat Kohli to the line-up, leaving out in-form Deepak Hooda and also included the likes of Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja for the clash in Birmingham.

It was evident with the way the batters charged at the England attack from the word go that India are looking towards modelling their T20I batting on being fearless at the top and through the middle overs.

India opened with Pant and Rohit Sharma but Kohli failed at No. 3, managing just 1 from 3 deliveries after a 49-run opening stand that came in quick time.

“You have been shown that there is another way of playing the same game. You are still scoring around 180 to 200. It’s not that the game has changed, but you have a choice of how you want to play. I think Rohit Sharma will be making that call,” Jadeja told Sony Sports.

“I think anyone who is leading the side has only two choices. That’s the way I see it. Either you stick to the way you have been playing, give opportunities to youngsters or you go back to your old team that played before you started trying to give opportunities,” he added.


India left out Deepak Hooda, who had been in sublime form, hitting a fifty and a hundred in Ireland last month. Hooda followed it up with a match-winning cameo in the 1st T20I.

“Virat Kohli is a special player. If it wasn’t Virat Kohli, he wouldn’t have probably playing Test cricket as well,” Jadeja elaborated.

“You look at the numbers and say ‘oh, over the last 8, 10 matches, he hasn’t scored a hundred’. But you don’t leave him out just because he hasn’t scored a hundred. You don’t leave him out because of what he is done in the past.

“Virat Kohli is a choice that you have to make. Do you want to play that solidity at the top and then get runs right at the back? It’s that old-style when Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will bat at the top and you would have players like Dhoni where they get 60 in the last 4 overs.

“It depends on whom you want to play. I feel you have a choice, it’s a tough one to make. If I had to pick a T20 side, Virat probably won’t be there,” he added.

Virat Kohli has been going through a slump in form across all formats of the game. The former captain managed just 31 runs across two innings in the Birmingham Test last week and failed to get going in the T20I on Saturday.

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