From the squad that faced Sri Lanka in their T20I series, also in India, in February this year, Mohammed Siraj and Sanju Samson were left out. Kohli, who last played a T20I in February, against West Indies, was also rested for the Sri Lankan series. In fact, since stepping down as India’s T20I captain after the 2021 T20 World Cup, Kohli has only played two T20Is.
As such, Kohli and Rohit have been in uneven form at the IPL. Rohit, whose Mumbai Indians finished last in the scoring table, had a game-best 48 and tallied 268 runs in total over 14 innings, scoring an average of 19.14 and a strike rate of 120.17. Kohli’s run was arguably even worse, but he’s shown signs of returning to form lately, hitting 73 out of 54 in the Royal Challengers’ last game, against the Titans, to give them a win at eight wickets and helped them stay in contention for the playoffs. Overall, Kohli has 309 runs in 14 innings, averaging 23.76 and hitting rate of 117.93.
IPL form likely played a part in Hardik and Dinesh Karthik’s callbacks.
Karthik, one of the competition’s top finishers this year, last played a T20I – or game in any format for India – in 2019 but forced selectors to turn to him after hitting 287 runs at a strike rate of 191.33 in the IPL 2022 league stage. He was also India’s top striker in the dead this season [min 30 balls faced]hitting at 226.37.
Hardik, meanwhile, last featured for India in the 2021 T20 World Cup but has mainly played as a striker, only bowling in a few group stage games. But he played a lot more in IPL 2022 – 24.3 overs in eight innings – where he led the Titans to the top of the scoring table. With the bat, he had an excellent start to the tournament, but then declined before crushing 62 steps on 47 balls in their last match, against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
His international appearances have been sporadic of late, especially since back problems, which required surgery, surfaced in 2019. But Hardik has always been part of India’s plans, which was evident when BCCI asked him to take the physical fitness tests. at the NCA a few days before the start of the IPL. It is understood that the national coaches wanted to be sure that Hardik could always play at least a few overs every game.
Arshdeep and Malik, meanwhile, have been some of the most exciting young Indians in the IPL. Malik has always rolled at speeds over 150mph and has 21 wickets to show for his efforts, even if he has come at a heavy cost at times. Arshdeep has been the go-to bowler for the Punjab Kings to the death with his yorkers reaping big rewards for him in most cases. He hasn’t always been a big wicket-taker, however, with ten strikes in 13 outings, but has an overall save rate of 7.82 this season and an impressive kill save of 7.31, the best among all bowlers to have knocked down at least 50 balls in this phase.
But two of the names who had been discussed at IPL 2022 after making big impressions – hitter Rahul Tripathi and fast bowler Mohsin Khan – went unspotted.