Rohit, Kohli have to openly talk about their T20I future’: BCCI’s WC dilemma explained in major Team India suspense

In the cricketing world, the suspense surrounding Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s future in T20 internationals continues to build, creating a cloud of uncertainty over India’s preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup. It’s been a whopping 382 days since these two cricketing stalwarts last donned the T20I jersey, their absence looming large since the 2022 T20 World Cup semifinal against England in Adelaide.

Initially, Rohit attributed their absence to “workload management” back in January, following the back-to-back T20I series they missed post the World Cup in Australia. At that time, it made sense – India was gearing up for the ODI World Cup, and key players needed rest after a grueling schedule that included the West Indies tour, the Asia Cup, home ODI series against Australia, and the T20 World Cup itself. Only three players from the World Cup squad found a spot in the subsequent T20I series against Australia.

Rohit’s recent statement on his likely prolonged absence from the T20I format, as reported by PTI, reignited discussions about his future. What added to the mystery was the parallel absence of Virat Kohli, who hasn’t featured in a T20I game for the same duration. The lack of official communication regarding their absence has left fans and pundits doubly anxious.


Why does the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) need to uncover Kohli and Rohit’s preferences? Since the 2022 T20 World Cup, India has played 19 completed T20I matches, and during this period, eight players have been tried in the top order (1-3). Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan, predominantly openers, featured in 11 of these matches. Suryakumar Yadav, usually occupying Kohli’s No. 3 spot, played seven matches, scoring a century and two fifties. Other contenders like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Tilak Varma also got opportunities.

With the T20I series against Australia marking the beginning of India’s preparation for the World Cup, the selected players become crucial for BCCI, selectors, and the team management. Former India cricketer Pragyan Ojha emphasized the importance of planning for a World Cup within a specific cycle, involving veteran players, fringe players, and the certainties. The cycle, which typically spans from one World Cup to another, allows selectors to assess and plan for a fresh combination.

Ojha expressed concern that the ongoing suspense about Kohli and Rohit’s T20I future is hindering BCCI’s ability to set their World Cup plans in motion. He highlighted the need for discussions with the senior players, understanding their thoughts and incorporating them into the larger plan. Ojha stressed that these discussions are crucial for players who have contributed significantly to the country, giving them the opportunity to openly express their thoughts on future plans.

“I’m very sure they’ll be talking to the management. And the committee will always take their opinion, what is the future plan, what they’re thinking. Because every player, if you look at every board, what they do is they believe in one cycle. The cycle is from World Cup to World Cup. They prepare the team accordingly. With the ODI World Cup cycle over, the new T20 World Cup cycle will come up. So we’ll see what the management decides and what they talk to Rohit and Virat and what they come up with as well. Because that discussion is very important. They are senior most cricketers. They have done so much for the country. So once that discussion is done, and I strongly believe they deserve that discussion where they openly talk about what the future plan is, then we can understand what both are thinking and what the board is thinking,” he said.

In a recent interview, Ojha also shared his experience of playing in the Legends League Cricket (LLC), discussed India’s recent World Cup campaign, and delved into the team’s unwanted streak in ICC knockouts. As the cricketing world eagerly awaits clarity on Kohli and Rohit’s T20I future, the discussions between the players, management, and the board become paramount for shaping India’s journey towards the T20 World Cup

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