No clarity on Virat Kohli's arrival for T20 World Cup, set to miss India vs Bangladesh warm-up match: Reports | Crickit
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No clarity on Virat Kohli's arrival for T20 World Cup, set to miss India vs Bangladesh warm-up match: Reports

May 30, 2024 10:58 AM IST

Virat Kohli is the only cricketer, part of India's T20 World Cup squad, who hasn't reached the USA yet.

When will Virat Kohli join the other Indian players in New York? That is the question on every Indian cricket fan's mind right now. There is no definite answer to that yet. Kohli is the only cricketer part of India's T20 World Cup squad who hasn't reached the USA yet. All the other 18 cricketers, including the four reserves, started their training session on Wednesday in New York.

(FILES) India's captain Rohit Sharma (L) and teammate Virat Kohli(AFP)
(FILES) India's captain Rohit Sharma (L) and teammate Virat Kohli(AFP)

Kohli, who was recently spotted with wife Anushka Sharma and former India cricketer Zaheer Khan in Mumbai, has requested a slightly longer break after the two-month-long IPL.

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"There has been no update on his travel status from the BCCI yet," reported ESPNCricinfo. The former India captain last played on May 22 in the IPL Eliminator. His team, Royal Challengers Bengaluru, were knocked out of the tournament after losing to Rajasthan Royals.

According to news agency PTI, Kohli is set to reach New York on Friday. "Kohli took a break for personal work after RCB's IPL ouster and in all likelihood, he will join the squad by Friday," they said.

But reports were pretty much sure that it would be very difficult for Kohli to be available for India's only warm-up match against Bangladesh on Sunday (June 1).

"It is not clear if he would be able to take part in the only warm-up game against Bangladesh on Saturday after a long flight," PTI wrote.

Kohli ended up as the Orange Cap winner for the second time in his career after smashing 741 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 154.70 - his best-ever in the IPL.

The Indian cricketers, meanwhile, arrived in New York in batches. The first batch, led by captain Rohit Sharma, left Mumbai on May 25. The Rajasthan Royal cricketers Sanju Samson, Yuzvendra Chahal and Yashasvi Jaiswal reached a couple of days later as they were part of the IPL Qualifier 2.

India set the ground rolling before T20 World Cup

Team India is set to spend the first few days trying to acclimate to the US conditions. The players are finding it hard to adjust to the bright sunshine in New York, after spending two months of IPL playing under lights.

This is why the support staff decided to help the players acclimatise to the conditions before initiating the skills training (net sessions) on the practice pitches at a ground on the outskirts of the city.

In India's first training session, the players indulged in routine shuttle runs, and a bit of foot volley to get into the groove.

"They have been away two and half months from us and getting to know where they stand and what needs to be done before the World Cup is the goal. The (first) goal is to spend 45 minutes in the heat to get going," Strength and Conditioning coach Soham Desai told bcci.tv.

"We came in the day before yesterday and we just eased into our routines here, the players are just getting used to the time zone. Today we are having our first ground session," he added.

As far as the players are concerned, there is an element of curiosity about playing cricket in New York.

Over the years, the Indian teams have played primarily in Florida at the Fort Lauderhill ground during their tours of the West Indies.

"First time we are going to play cricket in New York, it's going be fun," all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja said.

"We have not yet played cricket, came here for a team activity today. Hopefully, it will be good. The weather is really good, so we are looking forward to it."Skipper Rohit Sharma's deputy Hardik Pandya seemed excited with the "bright sunshine" and "good vibes" while Suryakumar Yadav wanted to know more about the the diaspora's cricket interests.

"I heard cricket is growing here in the US. So we are really excited and the first day here was amazing, so very excited for the few days coming up," Surya stated.

India, the 2007 T20 World Cup champions, will start their campaign here on June 5 against Ireland, followed by the big game against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 9.

They take on hosts USA on June 12 before the cricket caravan moves to familiar Lauderhill in Florida for the game against Canada on June 15.

India are supposed to be clubbed A1 irrespective of where they finish in the group and will then proceed to the Caribbean islands for the Super 8 phase of the tournament where they would meet Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

None of the Indian main squad players featured in the IPL finals held on May 26 in Chennai.

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