The Indian cricket board and the team management is likely to sit down with skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli about their future in T20Is in the coming days. It is understood that the duo have made themselves available for selection in the format, but it’s learnt that they will be persuaded to rethink their T20 future. The matter will also be up for discussion when Chetan Sharma’s new look selection panel meets in the coming days.
Since the completion of the T20 World Cup, the selectors chose a young squad led by Hardik Pandya for the series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Although Pandya has given enough hints that he will lead the team in the long-run, the BCCI has not named him as a full-time captain in the format as of now and Rohit continues to remain the all format skipper.
With the next T20 World Cup only in 2024, the BCCI chose to give opportunities to the youngsters. Moreover, with the 50-overs World Cup coming up in October-November, it wanted to manage the workload of the senior players as the selectors were told to go with a new bunch of players.
Speaking ahead of the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati, Rohit revealed that he has not given up on playing T20s for the national team. “At the moment, it has been made clear that this is a 50-over World Cup year. For some of the guys, it is not possible to play all formats. If you look at the schedule, the matches are back to back. So we decided on looking at some players’ workload and making sure we give enough break time and manage them. I definitely fall within that. We have only six T20s this year. But certainly, I have not decided to give up the format.”
However, the BCCI is unlikely to include the duo in the T20 plans. It is understood that the board wants to have a completely different team for the T20s and prefers players who can seamlessly fit the format which dictates batters to go on the offensive from the word go. In successive T20 World Cups, India went with a conservative approach as their top-order failed to make most of the powerplay overs. And much of it had to do with the presence of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli in top three as the trio are not the quickest to get off the blocks.
With the next T20 World Cup in mind, India are looking to change that aspect and bring in a more bold approach with the bat. This bold, aggressive approach was tried in the lead up to the T20 World Cup, but India shelved it in Australia. Pandya has already made it clear that the bold approach should be in place and for that it is important that the selectors pick the right players.
In Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shubman Gill, India have such batters. Which is why the BCCI, the team management and the selectors are prepared to move on from Rohit and Kohli in the T20Is.