Virat Kohli To Miss 1st T20I in Mohali Due to Personal Reasons: Rahul Dravid

Rohit and Kohli

Kohli & Rohit ignited India's T20I return against Afghanistan

Vishal Singh Jan. 10, 2024

Head coach Rahul Dravid announced on Wednesday, January 10 that Virat Kohli will not be playing in the first-match T20I match against Afghanistan due to personal reasons. India and Afghanistan will play each other in a bilateral series starting January 11 with the series opener to be played in Mohali.

On the eve of the first T20I, coach Rahul Dravid told reporters that Kohli will be part of the squad for the second and third T20Is to be played in Indore on January 14 and Bengaluru on January 17.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been selected for the T20I series after weeks of speculation over their future in the game's shortest format. Rohit and Kohli last played a T20I in the T20 World Cup semi-finals in Adelaide in November 2022. The two batsmen, along with KL Rahul, focussed on ODIs and Tests in the 2023 World Cup.

However, it has emerged that both Rohit and Kohli were considered for selection ahead of the T20I series against Afghanistan in the new year. Chief selector Ajit Agarkar visited Cape Town in the 1st week of January during the second part of the two-match Test series between India and South Africa to learn about the plans of the two senior batsmen for the T20 World Cup.

Virat-Kohli-26

Rohit Sharma has been appointed as the captain of the T20I team for the series against Afghanistan. Notably, Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav led India in the 2023 T20Is in Rohit's absence. Both Hardik and Suryakumar will miss the T20I series against Afghanistan due to injuries.

Why Iyer and Ishan are missing?

Rahul Dravid refused the allegations on Ishan Kisan that said he is out of the squad due to disciplinary issues. He told the media that he has not yet made himself available for selection after seeking a break ahead of the Test series in South Africa due to personal reasons.

"Certainly, in Shreyas Iyer's case, there is absolutely no disciplinary reason for his non-inclusion. It's just that he missed out. There were a lot of batters in the team. Shreyas missed out, he didn't play the T20Is in South Africa if you noticed. They are a lot of batters and it's not easy to fit everyone,"
~Dravid said.