Amidst busy international cricket calendar, it is important for players to get breaks. Rightly, all-rounder Hardik Pandya as been handed rest from the upcoming India-Sri Lanka three-match Test rubber. But what about captain Virat Kohli?
Yesterday (November 10), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that Pandya was given a break from three Tests at home due to "heavy recent workload" and "to negate any possibility of a major injury concern."
This decision was arrived at by the selectors after consulting the team management. It is a right move by the MSK Prasad-led selection panel. But did they think about Kohli on same lines?
It is a fact that Kohli is one of the fittest cricketers in the world. But, he too needs rest from the game. He is playing non-stop across all three formats. He has not showed signs of fatigue despite the responsibility of captaincy.
Many players are burdened by leadership but Kohli has taken to the role like duck to water. His batting has reached a different level after being made the captain. He continues to dominate the bowlers in Tests and limited-overs.
The 29-year-old right-hander not only captains India but he is at the helm of Indian Premier League (IPL) side Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) too. Thanks to his strict fitness regime, he is free from any major injuries.
India-Sri Lanka first Test starts in Kolkata on November 16. The selectors have picked the squad for opening two matches of the three-contest rubber.
There were reports that Kohli might be rested during the Sri Lanka series, which also involves three ODIs and three T20Is.
Just like Pandya, Kohli too deserves break from international cricket to start fresh for the overseas challenges in the new year. India are to tour South Africa in January and later England beckons.
It would be right for the selectors to keep Kohli away from limited overs matches against Sri Lanka in December.
If the selectors are talking about managing workload, Kohli should be on top of the list to be away from the game, at least for few weeks.
With Kohli being the superstar and number one cricketer in India, there are other commercial interests surrounding his rest factor. Sponsors might want Kohli to play each and every match. The presence of Kohli draws fans to the stadiums and gets millions of eyeballs on television.
But just like any other player he too needs to switch off from the game. Rotation of players is a must with the amount of cricket being played at the moment. Hope Kohli gets a break from cricket soon.