With the T20 World Cup 2024 looming just six months away, the Indian camp intensifies its preparations, aiming to break their decade-long drought in ICC tournaments. However, the buzz around the potential roles of batting stalwarts Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the T20I side is gaining momentum, sparking discussions ahead of the mega event.
Reports suggest a strong inclination from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) towards appointing Rohit Sharma as the captain for the World Cup. Conversely, Kohli’s future in the T20I setup is uncertain, with indications that he might not remain the preferred No 3 batter for India anymore. Both Kohli and Rohit have been absent from T20Is following India’s humbling defeat against England in the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final.
The selectors and the board seem inclined towards an aggressive approach at number 3, eyeing wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan to assume this pivotal role during the World Cup.
Kishan, with 32 T20Is under his belt, has tallied 796 runs at an average of 25.67 and a strike rate of 124.37, boasting six half-centuries. Despite limited appearances, his potential to unleash early attacks on opponents seems to catch the selectors’ attention.
However, the report indicates a conditional return for Kohli, suggesting his selection hinges on a strong performance in the IPL 2024 season. Discussions between senior board members and the 35-year-old on his T20I future are also anticipated. Both Kohli and Rohit have opted out of the upcoming white-ball series against South Africa.
India’s upcoming solitary T20I series against Afghanistan from January 11 sets the stage for potential selections. Kohli, a record-breaking run-scorer in both T20Is (4008 runs) and T20 World Cup (1141 runs), is a pivotal figure. His exclusion would undoubtedly reverberate through Indian cricket, posing a challenging decision for the selectors.
As speculation swells and decisions loom, the fate of Kohli in the T20I setup and the imminent squad announcements for the World Cup promise to add intrigue and debate within the Indian cricketing fraternity.