In the recently announced squads for India’s tour of South Africa, both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were notably missing from the T20I squad. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) clarified the situation in a tweet, stating that both players had requested a break from the white-ball leg of the tour.
The absence of the seasoned duo has raised questions about their roles in T20Is, especially with the T20 World Cup scheduled for June 2024. Reports had previously suggested that Rohit Sharma might make a return to T20I captaincy, but his request for a break has shifted leadership responsibilities to Suryakumar Yadav in T20Is and KL Rahul in ODIs.
While Rohit Sharma’s aggressive approach in recent matches has caught the BCCI’s attention, speculations about him taking over the T20 captaincy for the World Cup persist. However, the decision ultimately lies with Rohit, who is currently on holiday in the UK.
The uncertainty surrounding the T20I future of both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli remains, as neither has made public declarations regarding their intentions to continue or retire from the format. Despite this, Kohli’s outstanding performances in the last T20 World Cup and IPL 2023 position him as a likely selection, provided he expresses his availability.
The challenge lies in the limited T20Is scheduled before the T20 World Cup, with only six matches, including the upcoming series against South Africa. The absence of Rohit and Kohli from this series leaves little room for their inclusion in the T20I setup before the marquee tournament. The focus now shifts to the next season of the IPL, a crucial preparation ground leading up to the T20 World Cup.
In the absence of a public declaration, the ball seems to be in the court of the senior duo regarding their potential selection in T20Is.