Napier, Jan. 24:
India captain Virat Kohli was on Wednesday rested for the last two games of the five-match ODI series against New Zealand and the following T20 series owing to his “workload in the last few months”.
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma will lead the side in his absence.
The selection committee and the team management took the call in view of his packed schedule over the past couple of months during which he led India to their maiden Test and bilateral ODI series wins in Australia.
“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,” said the BCCI in a statement.
“There will be no replacement for Kohli in the squad for the New Zealand series. Rohit Sharma will captain the side in the final two ODIs and T20I series,” it added.
The 30-year-old on Tuesday became the first cricketer to win all three major ICC awards — the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Cricketer of the Year, Test Player of the Year and the ODI Player of the Year –, following an extraordinary 2018.
In the historic Test series win in Australia, Kohli scored 282 runs at 40.28, including a hard fought hundred on a testing Perth pitch. In the following ODI series, he completed his 39th hundred, taking his tally across formats to 64.
Prior to the Australia tour, Kohli was rested for the home T20 series against the West Indies.
He was also given a break for the Asia Cup in September and Rohit led the team to the title in the event held in the UAE.
The Indian players have a hectic schedule going into the World Cup to be held in May-July.
After the ongoing New Zealand tour which ends with the third T20 on February 10, India will host Australia for five ODIs starting February 24 and soon after the IPL follows.
Star pacer Jasprit Bumrah has already been rested from the limited-overs tour of New Zealand.
India lead the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand 1-0 after winning the opening match by eight wickets here Wednesday. The second game will be played in Mount Maunganui on Saturday.
The three-match T20 series begins in Wellington on February 6.