Former Indian captain Virender Sehwag has questioned the constant chopping and changing of players in the Indian team under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. He asked why the same selection yardsticks are not applied for the Indian skipper as well.
He made this observation during a discussion on the Sony Sports network regarding the game of musical chairs being played in terms of team selection.
Sehwag started by highlighting that Virat Kohli would never have become such a great player had he not got the backing of MS Dhoni despite his failures on the tour of England in 2014.
“Virat Kohli has to think that in the England tour when he had flopped, if he was not given opportunities after that, how would he have become such a big player.”
The former opener questioned if any player can claim to have got backing from the current Indian skipper similar to what Virat Kohli got from MS Dhoni.
“He himself says that MS Dhoni has backed him and that he would always remain his captain. Is there any player in this team who will say the same thing for Virat Kohli, it is difficult.”
Virender Sehwag questioned the exclusion of Shreyas Iyer from the Indian team for the first T20I against Australia. He observed that the Delhi Capitals skipper would not be in a position to ask Virat Kohli why he has not been selected.
“If you talk about Shreyas Iyer, if in the previous T20 series he had given a good performance, then on what basis did you not play him this encounter. Is there any reason? I don’t think even Shreyas Iyer has the guts to go and ask why he was not played.”
The 42-year-old pointed out that Iyer merited a place in the Indian T20I team based on his performances in the last series. He asked if the Mumbaikar had been excluded considering the benefit of the team or just because he has fallen victim to short-pitched bowling on a couple of occasions.
“If this decision has been taken with the team in mind then it is right else if it has been taken thinking that Shreyas Iyer does not play short-pitched bowling that well and so a chance has been given to someone else, then it will be a different thinking because he has scored runs in the last few T20I matches. So, he should be given chances.”
Virender Sehwag signed off by observing that the yardsticks used for Virat Kohli and the other players are different. He pointed out that the Indian skipper has never been given a break or moved up and down the order due to lack of form.
“I will say one more thing, all the rules are applicable to everyone else other than Virat Kohli, no rule is applicable to him. Neither his batting order is changed nor is he left out or given a break when he is out of form. So, that is wrong.”
The frequent changes in the Indian team under Virat Kohli have come in for a lot of criticism from many experts of the game. Some former players also questioned Mayank Agarwal being replaced by Shubman Gill for the final ODI during the ongoing tour of Australia.