Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday finally disclosed the reason behind skipper Virat Kohli’s absence from the recently concluded Asia Cup 2018.
Speaking to Gulf News, Ravi Shastri said, “Virat needed this rest. Physically he is a bull. You can’t give him out of the ground. And the thing with Virat is if he plays, then you know the level of intensity he brings. So it was a case of just mental fatigue, giving him a break, take your mind off cricket and then come back fresh.” He added that the same process would be followed for other players as well. “And we will have to do it with a lot of other players. You know like Bumah (Jasprit Bumrah), Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), we have to sustain them and keep them energetic.”
After giving Asia Cup a miss, Virat Kohli will lead India for the upcoming two-match Test series against West Indies starting October 4 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot.
Earlier on Saturday, BCCI announced 15-member squad for West Indies Test. Shikhar Dhawan, who struggled in the Tests against England, has been axed from the squad.
Young batsmen Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal have been included in the squad and star pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar rested.
Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik has also been dropped from the Test side, and Murali Vijay, who was dropped for the final two Tests in England, has been ignored once again.
Delhi batsman Rishabh Pant is the only wicketkeeper in the India squad. Young batsman Hanuma Vihari, who also impressed on debut in the last Test against England at The Oval, London, has also found a place in the squad.
“Taking stock of the recent workload, the selectors have decided to rest Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Both Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya were not considered for selection as they are yet to recover from their injuries,” a BCCI statement said.
Indian team for the West Indies tour: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur.