Kirti Azad Asserts Virat Kohli's Inclusion in T20 World Cup 2024 Squad
Kirti Azad Asserts Virat Kohli's Inclusion in T20 World Cup 2024 Squad

New Delhi:  Former Indian cricketer Kirti Azad has made a significant statement regarding Virat Kohli's inclusion in India's squad for the T20 World Cup 2024 amidst ongoing speculations about his future in the shortest format. Various reports suggest that the Indian team management and the selection panel led by Ajit Agarkar are hesitant about retaining Kohli in the squad for the upcoming event in the US and the Caribbean, scheduled to commence in June this year.

However, Azad has asserted that Indian captain Rohit Sharma is adamant about having Kohli in the squad "at any cost." The 1983 World Cup winner took to Twitter, citing insider sources that Kohli will indeed represent India in the T20 World Cup 2024, with an official announcement expected imminently. Azad also criticized BCCI secretary Jay Shah in his tweet, suggesting that he should refrain from interfering in selection matters.

"Why should Jay Shah, who is not a selector, assign Ajit Agarkar with the task of convincing other selectors that Virat Kohli should not be part of the T20 team? This was to be completed by March 15. According to sources, Ajit Agarkar failed to convince himself or the other selectors," Azad wrote.

"Jay Shah also consulted Rohit Sharma, who insisted on having Virat Kohli in the team under any circumstances. An official announcement regarding Kohli's inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad is expected before the final team selection. Meddling individuals should not involve themselves in the selection process," he added.

Kohli's place in the T20 World Cup squad is uncertain given the emergence of young talents like Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, and Shivam Dube. With the presence of established players such as Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, and Ravindra Jadeja, Kohli faces stiff competition for a spot in the batting order. Additionally, contenders like Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad are vying for opening positions, raising questions about Shubman Gill's role in the top order.

If Jaiswal outshines Gill as the preferred opener, Kohli's chances of selection may diminish further, especially considering the competition for the number three position. The final decision rests with the team management and selectors, and it remains to be seen whether Kohli can secure a spot in the squad.

Kohli's return to India for IPL 2024
Kohli, who was in London for the birth of his son Akaay, has returned to India ahead of the upcoming IPL 2024 season. He is set to join the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squad for their opening match against defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the Chepauk on April 22.

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