Virat Kohli has now been the Indian captain across all formats for the last two and a half years now. India have had quite a bit of success in all three formats. They are the No. 1 ranked Test side and have been at the top for some time now. Meanwhile, they’ve done very well in white-ball cricket as well.
However, Kohli’s captaincy has come under the scanner quite a bit. From team selection to on-field tactics, a lot has been questioned. Moreover, he tends to chop and change quite a bit as well. Hence, there are a lot of in-form cricketers who haven’t got regular chances.
For instance, despite the openers struggling, Mayank Agarwal had to wait a long time before he got his chance. There are other cricketers who are in-form but haven’t got a lot of chances or any chances under Virat Kohli’s captaincy. Hence, here are five such cricketers who’ve not been getting chances under Kohli.
1. Priyank Panchal
Priyank Panchal. (Photo Source: Twitter)
It is no secret that India have had top-order issues in Test cricket for a while now. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul had faded away. Mayank Agarwal had to wait for quite a bit despite scoring a truckload of runs in domestic cricket. The same seems to be the case with Priyank Panchal.
The 29-year-old Gujarat opener has been churning out runs day in and day out in domestic cricket. He has topped the batting charts for Gujarat for the last four seasons. He hasn’t averaged under 55 in a single season in the last four Ranji editions. Panchal has amassed 3415 runs at an average of 66.96 since the start of the 2015-16 season.
Moreover, Panchal has also been scoring well for India ‘A’. However, he hasn’t come anywhere near the Indian team yet. Rahul has got a lot of opportunities but has failed to deliver and yet the team management and Kohli have stuck with him. They’ve also had a makeshift opener in Hanuma Vihari. Hence, Panchal deserves a shot in the Indian Test side and should be next in line as far as the openers are concerned.
2. Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: Twitter)
There’s a lot of talk about Shreyas Iyer and the No. 4 spot in the Indian ODI side. It was in November 2017 that Iyer made his international debut in a T20I against New Zealand. However, in that season he barely played anything more. He played a handful of ODIs before he was axed despite doing reasonably well. He never got a proper chance or run to prove himself before he was dropped.
Moreover, in the lead-up to the World Cup, India’s search for a No. 4 batsman has been never-ending. However, not once did they go back to Iyer who had never played at that spot before in the national side. But the Mumbai batsman kept working on his skills and performing consistently.
Iyer has consistently scored runs for Mumbai, Delhi Capitals and India ‘A’ across formats. Hence, he finally proved his worth in the ODI series against West Indies. He will be hoping that he gets a better and longer run this time around. He has played just nine games under Virat Kohli’s captaincy and will be hoping to add more to that tally.
3. Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shubman Gill is one player who has caught everyone’s attention in the last couple of years. Be it at the Under 19 level, state cricket, for India ‘A’ or in the IPL, the teenager from Punjab has been busy scoring runs across formats at all levels. Gill is one name that has constantly done circles in Indian cricket in recent times.
The Punjab batsman has been in excellent form in the recent past. He excelled in Ranji Trophy cricket last season and was his side’s best batsman. He has consistently scored runs for India ‘A’ and that too in all formats. Gill has done well in the IPL too. However, he hasn’t got his chance.
When Virat Kohli was rested for the last two ODIs in New Zealand, Gill slotted in at No. 3 in his debut series. But he couldn’t crack the code as he failed in successive innings before finding himself out of the side. Recently, he scored a fabulous 204 in a first-class game for India ‘A’ walking out to bat with the score 14/3. Hence, Gill seems to be in red-hot form but he hasn’t got the chance yet.
4. Shreyas Gopal
Shreyas Gopal. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shreyas Gopal is surely one of the most underrated cricketers going around in the Indian domestic circles at the moment. The 25-year-old all-rounder has consistently performed with both bat and ball but he’s hardly noticed. He has been Karnataka’s mainstay for quite some time now.
The leg-spinning all-rounder has churned out wickets and scored runs at crucial junctures for Karnataka over the last few years. He averages 35.75 with the bat and 26.19 with the ball in first-class cricket. Not only in red-ball cricket, Gopal has performed in the shorter formats as well. He averages 20.66 with the ball and has a strike-rate of 25.00 in List ‘A’ cricket.
Over the last couple of years, he has become Rajasthan Royals’ lead spinner as well. Moreover, he’s made it a habit of prizing out big scalps. In the last two seasons, Gopal has taken 31 wickets, including 20 earlier this year. Hence, the 25-year-old has never got an India call-up despite performing regularly in all three formats in domestic cricket. Moreover, he has done well for India ‘A’ too. Thus, Gopal deserves a chance at the international level.
5. Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
It’s never easy when you are constantly in and out of the side. Manish Pandey would surely know a thing or two about being in and out of the Indian white-ball sides. The Karnataka player has never got a long run or has never been backed by any captain he’s played under so far.
The 29-year-old played the Under 19 World Cup alongside Virat Kohli in 2008. Pandey made a name for himself through the IPL first before performing consistently in domestic cricket. He finally got his India cap in 2015 in Zimbabwe. He scored a superb ton in Sydney in January 2016 helping India avoid a whitewash in the ODI series.
However, Pandey was never consistent after with the bat nor was he consistently in the team. But he’s done really well for Karnataka and has scored heavily in the ‘A’ games. But Pandey never got a proper run despite India’s wobbly middle-order. Thus, Pandey is another one of those who despite being in-form is not getting enough chances under Virat Kohli.
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