In a surprising comeback, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli find themselves back in the Indian T20 International squad after an absence of more than a year. The seasoned duo, absent since India’s semi-final defeat against England in the T20 World Cup 2022, has been included in the lineup for the 3-match series against Afghanistan. This series serves as India’s final T20 international assignment before the much-anticipated T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled for June in the Caribbean islands and the United States.
Reacting to the unexpected selection, former Indian cricketer Deep Dasgupta expressed his surprise, mentioning that he believed the team had moved on from the senior batters following their consecutive disappointments in the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cup editions.
“I thought that the team has moved on in the T20I format. I am a little surprised. But the way that Rohit Sharma has played in the 50-over World Cup was great. The main criticism with the senior India players was the lack of intent in the T20 format,” Dasgupta shared in an interview with Star Sports.
Despite his surprise, Dasgupta highlighted the importance of Virat Kohli’s experience, especially in the context of the West Indies pitches. He emphasized that recent tracks in the region have exhibited significant spin and slow characteristics, making Kohli’s seasoned approach valuable for the team.
“Obviously, we saw that with Rohit and with Virat we have to keep in mind what will be the pitches that we might get in West Indies. Are we expecting 180-200 pitches or something around 160s?” Dasgupta further added.
The absence of Hardik Pandya, who has been leading the Indian side in T20Is since November 2022, led to Suryakumar Yadav taking the captaincy role in series against Australia and South Africa. With the return of Rohit and Kohli, India is set to reshuffle its lineup once again ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024.
“So, for me, it was surprising because I thought that we were looking beyond these two players in the T20 format,” concluded Deep Dasgupta.