‘There is no clarity in this Indian team’ – Mohammad Kaif expresses disappointment on Virat Kohli’s selection calls
Kaif indirectly hinted that Kohli's inconsistency with selections has resulted in India not winning ICC trophies under him.
Updated - Jul 16, 2021 11:40 am
Mohammad Kaif has slammed Virat Kohli and his selection choices. According to the former Indian batsman, Kohli picks players based on their current form and instead of backing out of form players. He further went on to make a point that the inconsistency in selection is one of the reasons why India has not won a single ICC tournament under Kohli’s captaincy.
Ever since Kohli has taken over the mantle of leading the Indian team, his selection calls have been a thing of scrutiny. Be it the call of dropping Cheteshwar Pujara from the first Test in England in 2018 or not playing his deputy Ajinkya Rahane in the first two Tests in South Africa in 2017-18. Under his captaincy, India even played musical chairs with the no. 4 positions ahead of the 2019 ICC World Cup.
“There is no clarity in this Indian team and we need to accept it. Virat Kohli doesn’t play this way. He sees who is the most in-form player and picks him in the XI,” Kaif told Sports Tak. “This is Kohli’s way. At the end of the day you need to judge how many trophies he has won as a captain and he hasn’t been able to win an ICC trophy,” he added.
This team and this management do not give as much importance to past performance: Mohammad Kaif
Earlier this year, during the T20I series against England, India dropped Shikhar Dhawan from the starting XI after playing just the first match. Rohit Sharma was given rest for a couple of matches during that series while Kohli decided to field debutants Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. The plan did work but the fact that Dhawan had done nothing wrong, but was still dropped is a testament to Kohli’s way of picking teams.
“This team and this management do not give as much importance to past performance. Virat Kohli focuses on what form you are in at the current point. This is why Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan got opportunities. This is why Shikhar Dhawan missed a few games, Rohit Sharma was rested,” Kaif went on to add.
The former Indian batter further went on to give an example of Sourav Ganguly, under whom Kaif played the majority of his international cricket. He felt that backing the players is the classical way of handling captaincy, something which the current BCCI President used to do during his tenure. “Ganguly would keep backing his players, which is the classic way of handling things. That’s what a leader does. But this isn’t Kohli’s way,” Kaif said.