India captain Virat Kohli will be rested from the final two ODIs and the following T20I series against New Zealand, the BCCI announced on Wednesday. The announcement came just a few hours after India picked up a comfortable 8-wicket win over the Kiwis in the first ODI in Napier.
“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 BCCI said in a media statement.
In his place, vice-captain Rohit Sharma will lead the team in the 4th and 5th ODIs in Hamilton and Wellington, which will be played on January 31 and February 3, respectively. He will also lead the side in the following 3-match T20I series which will kick off from February 6, 2019.
“There will be no replacement for Mr. Kohli in the squad for the New Zealand series. Rohit Sharma will captain the side in the final two ODIs and T20I series,” the statement added.
With BCCI not naming any replacements in the side, there is a chance for Shubman Gill to make it into the playing XI. The youngster, who came out to bat at No. 3 for India U-19 in the World Cup in 2018, finished as the second highest run scorer in the tournament with 372 runs in 6 games at an average of 102. He was also named as the man of the match series.
Kohli has been rested to reduce his workload prior to the upcoming World Cup which will begin from May 30, 2019. He has been a part of the side since the 2-Test and 5-ODI series against West Indies at home, and then played in all the three T20Is, three ODIs and four Tests against Australia.
In the first ODI against New Zealand, the 30-year-old was dismissed for 45, but the men in blue managed to finish off an easy 157-run chase in the 35th over with 8 wickets still in hand. India currently lead the series 1-0.