Kohli to be rested for final two NZ ODIs, T20I series

Indian skipper Virat Kohli will be rested for the final two ODIs of the ongoing five-match series against New Zealand and the subsequent T20I series, the BCCI announced on Wednesday (January 23).

“Considering his workload in the last few months, the team management and Senior selection committee is of the view that it would be ideal for him to get adequate rest ahead of the home series against Australia,” the board said in a media statement.

BCCI have carefully monitored Kohli’s workloads since the start of 2018, resting the captain for the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in March, India’s one-off Test against Afghanistan in Bangalore in June, the Asia Cup in the UAE in September and the home T20Is against West Indies in November.

Kohli has played 14 of the 15 Tests India played since the start of 2018 and leads the charts with 1345 runs. In the same period, Kohli is also the top-scorer with 1400 runs in 18 ODIs. The Indian skipper recently swept the top-three honours at the ICC Awards for 2018, winning the Cricketer of the Year as well as the ODI and T20I Player of the Year.

Kohli and Bumrah had been India’s two most over-worked cricketers in the last 13 months, given their proficiency across formats. The Indian management had already rested the pacer for the preceding ODIs in Australia, after India’s Test triumph, and for the limited-overs series in New Zealand. The next international assignment for the duo would likely be the home series against Australia, before IPL 2019.

While there will be no replacement named for Kohli, his deputy Rohit Sharma will lead the side in the Hamilton and Wellington ODIs before the succeeding three-match T20I series that begins on February 6.

India lead the ODI series 1-0 after an eight-wicket win in Napier.

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