When India’s T20 World Cup schedule was released, there were questions about whether the dafabet sports matches spread across three series—against Australia (5 at home), South Africa (3 away), and Afghanistan (3 at home)—would be sufficient for the selectors to choose the final 15 players for the ICC event in June. This was especially true given that some of the veterans almost completely skipped the matches in order to recover from the taxing ODI World Cup or to remain fit for the lengthy England Test series.

Later on, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid provided clarification, saying, “We will have the IPL and everyone will be watching closely to see how some of those guys play and what are the slots we need to fill in the team.” What’s more, the T20 World Cup is supposed to start five days after the IPL championship. As a result, the IPL will serve as more than simply a fight between ten teams for the trophy; it will also serve as a testing ground for the holy rummy selection committee, directed by Ajit Agarkar, to choose a champion team that could finally break India’s protracted trophy drought in international cricket.

Who are the foregone conclusions?

The two players for whom the Betway need to have begun preparing visas are Suryakumar Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah. Then, of course, is Rohit Sharma, who earlier this month received confirmation from BCCI secretary Jay Shah that he will lead the team. Yashasvi Jaiswal, who has all but guaranteed his spot as Rohit’s opening partner, should also be added to the roster. Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja follow. And Virat Kohli—how can we overlook him? That takes care of seven berths, leaving the remaining eight to be decided by the IPL.

In the past several years, Rohit’s lackluster performance with the bat has cost him the captaincy of the Mumbai Indians. In contrast, Kohli has enjoyed significantly more reliable IPL seasons. Among all hitters, he has scored the fifth-most runs (1851) in the previous four seasons. But Kohli’s strike rate has always been a point of contention in Twenty20 cricket, particularly when facing spinners and in middle overs.

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. Adding to his woes, he takes almost two overs (10.6 balls) to score a boundary during this phase, which is almost double the deliveries taken by Sanju Samson (SR of 152.87; boundary rate of 5.3) and Suryakumar Yadav (SR of 150.59; boundary rate of 4.8), the two best middle-over batters during this period.