'Not at all, never by us!' - Rahul Dravid responds to journalist talking about Virat Kohli's position in India's T20I setup
Virat Kohli finished as the top run-getter of the T20 World Cup 2022 down under
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India head coach Rahul Dravid has given a quirky reply to a journalist when asked about Virat Kohli’s absence from the national team’s T20I setup ever since the conclusion of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 last November.
After the T20 World Cup, the Men in Blue have played two bilateral T20Is. An away series against New Zealand in November and a three-match home series against Sri Lanka earlier this month. However, Kohli did not feature in either of these series which have led to speculations on whether the national selectors and the team management have moved beyond the batting megastar in the shortest format with an eye on the T20 World Cup 2024.
We have to prioritise certain formats: Rahul Dravid
"Till last year, Virat's position in the T20I team was in question..." a journalist asked before being interrupted by Dravid who then went on to justify that the team management had never questioned Kohli’s place in T20Is in the year gone by.
"Not by us sir. Not at all, never by us!"
The reporter then asked why Virat was not playing T20I cricket despite being named in the ICC Men’s T20I Team of the Year 2022.
"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,” Rahul Dravid said while speaking in pre-match press conference of the third and final ODI between India and New Zealand.
"As you've seen, Virat has played all these six games. He'll get a bit of a break along with Rohit and one or two 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,” he added.
Kohli roared back to form in Asia Cup 2022 which was played in the T20 format. He finished as the second-highest run-getter scoring 276 runs from five matches. The batting icon then went on to emerge as the top run-getter of the T20 World Cup down under finishing with 296 runs from six outings.