The exclusion of Rohit Sharma in the squad for the first Test against West Indies raised a few eyebrows. Virat Kohli was asked about this at the end of the match and he explained why the management kept Rohit out the playing XI in Antigua.
When Indian captain Virat Kohli announced his side at the toss, the exclusion of Rohit Sharma from the side shocked a few. Rohit’s recent form white-ball cricket contributed to India’s road to the semifinal in the World Cup 2019. Fans and experts expected him to showcase the same in the Test against the Windies and establish himself even in Test cricket. Moreover, since the West Indies are a comparatively weaker side, it was expected that the team management would give Rohit chance to bring back his luck in Test by playing some good knocks against the hosts. Instead, India went with Hanuma Vihari and thankfully the end result was sweet.
At the end of the match, the Indian skipper Virat Kohli gave an explanation to this. He said that he was aware of the discussions around India’s playing XI. He insisted the decisions to include or exclude players from the side were always done keeping the best interests of the side. Kohli said Hanuma fitted the combination well and hence got the nod. “He’s an effective part-time bowler and helps us when we need to catch up with the over-rate. We have a group discussion and then we decide what’s best for the team. There will always be opinions about the XI, but people will know that it’s in the interest of the team.”
He also said when players do well and prove his decisions right, the scenario looks all the better. “It’s a blessing that I am in a position where I can contribute to the team in more than one way, but nothing is possible without your team. I don’t think the credit can be taken away from the team at all.” Kohli said.