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Legendary Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar said great players like India batsman Virat Kohli can be dropped.
His comments come after Kohli endured a disappointing campaign in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL).
Kohli represented the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 16 matches and scored 341 runs, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 22.73 and a strike-rate of 115.98.
“It is a performance based IPL franchise model. No one will be spared, not even Virat Kohli. Even he can be dropped if he does not perform. Some of the things I can’t even say now,” Akhtar was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
Kohli has been rested for India’s upcoming five-match T20 series against South Africa, but has been included in the squad for the fifth Test against England.
The Test series was postponed last year due to COVID-19, but India held a 2-1 lead and will be looking to clinch the series 3-1 when the fifth Test is played at Edgbaston, Birmingham from July 1 to 5.
India T20I squad for South Africa Series: KL Rahul (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain)(wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik
India Test squad for 5th Test against England: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain) Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohd Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna