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WATCH: Rahul Dravid’s brutally honest response to journalist claiming ‘Virat’s position in the T20I team was in question’

Virat Kohli’s continued absence from the T20I squad has cast doubt on his future in the format.

Rahul Dravid-Virat Kohli
Rahul Dravid-Virat Kohli (source: Twitter)

Virat Kohli has not played for India in T20Is since the 20-20 World Cup 2022 in Australia, despite the fact that the team has played two T20I bilateral series since the mega event. Kohli scored the most runs in the World Cup, totalling 296 in six matches. In four of those games, he scored half-centuries.

His continued absence from the T20I squad has cast doubt on his future in the format. The question was raised again during India’s pre-match press conference ahead of the third ODI against New Zealand. Rahul Dravid, India’s head coach, took the task to answer the questions this time.

“Till last year, Virat’s position in the T20I team was in question…” a journalist asked when Dravid interrupted him midway and said: “Not by us sir. Not at all, never by us!”

When asked why Kohli wasn’t playing T20Is despite being named Apex Cricket Council’s T20I team of the year (2022), Dravid replied: “There are certain priorities we need to give to certain white-ball tournaments at particular stages of time. The amount of cricket we are playing…the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and the World Test Championship, potential qualification, important games for qualification perspective for us. There are certain white-ball tournaments that we had to prioritise, the priority after the T20 World Cup has been these six games.

“As you’ve seen, Virat has played all these six games. He’ll get a bit of a break along with Rohit and 1 or 2 other guys in the next week while we play some T20I cricket. And they come refreshed on the 2nd and we have a good week’s camp before we play Australia. So yeah it’s just priorities. We have to prioritise certain formats.”

India is currently playing in a white-ball series against New Zealand. They already have won the first two ODI matches and are set to play the final game on the 24th of January in Indore. The T20I leg of the series will kick off on the 27th of January in Ranchi.

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