Sanju Samson and KL Rahul are the other candidates for the position

Kohli’s strike rate of 116.27 is the lowest among 20 hitters who have faced at least 500 deliveries in middle overs (7–16) since the IPL 2020. To make matters worse, it takes him nearly twice as long (10.6 balls) to score a boundary in this phase as it does for the two best middle-over batsmen of the era, Sanju Samson (SR of 152.87; boundary rate of 5.3) and betway (SR of 150.59; boundary rate of 4.8).

When facing a spinner during this batting phase, Kohli’s strike rate drops even further to 105.53, the lowest among the 18 batsmen (minimum 300 deliveries), with a boundary every 14.7 overs.

This is exactly what the Telegraph investigation a few days ago brought to light, suggesting that it could have contributed to Kohli’s exclusion from India’s World Cup squad. The revelation caused quite a commotion in the cricket world. However, there are other facets of cricket than math-based reasoning. When it comes to ICC tournaments in particular, there is more on the line for the selectors than just choosing the side.

And that’s what a wicketkeeper-batter does. After playing six of the rummy loot International matches for India since November 2023, Jitesh Sharma—who was promoted to vice captain of the Punjab Kings for the IPL 2024 season—made an impression with both his six-hitting prowess and ability to close off games. Ishan Kishan participated in three further games and achieved two fifty-score runs with a strike rate of 144.73, which was nearly identical to Jitesh’s (148.43).

Sanju Samson and KL Rahul are the other candidates for the position, assuming the latter is able to modify his style of play and play middle-order for the Lucknow Super Giants in the 2024 Indian Premier League. However, Rishabh Pant, who is scheduled to make his comeback to the sport following that tragic tragedy in December 2022, could emerge victorious in this contest. Moreover, Dhruv Jurel left a lasting impact during the most recent England Test series.

Backup batsman Hardik Pandya, if he stays healthy until the 2024 Indian Premier League, will surely be dafabet India’s first-choice speed all-rounder. However, considering his injury history, India will require a backup, and the selectors here only have Shivam Dube to fill that position. However, this season, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) player will have to demonstrate his value with the ball.

India would be vulnerable against spin if Rohit and Kohli are selected for the squad and then the XI. In fact, Kohli’s strike rate of 108.2 is the second lowest of the 42 batsmen who have faced more than 200 deliveries against the variety in the previous four IPL seasons. With strike rates of 124.78 and 126.83 against spinners, respectively, even players like Hardik and Rohit have had difficulty.

Samson, whose strike rate of 155.09 is the third-highest overall and the best among Indian hitters, will thus be the focus of the selectors. Dube (148.20) is the next best Indian batsman. Shubman Gill (139.75), Jaiswal (144.62), and Ruturaj Gaikwad (142.59) all have strong numbers against spinners.

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