Following India’s devastating defeat to Australia in the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup final, there have been many discussions regarding the future of captain Rohit Sharma and batting sensation Virat Kohli in Twenty20 international cricket. The pair has reportedly informed us that they will not be playing in the forthcoming white-ball series in South Africa, which consists of three Twenty20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals.
Notably, since India’s crushing ten-wicket defeat to England in the T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final, neither Rohit nor Kohli have participated in a single Twenty20 international match. Andre Russell, an all-rounder for the West Indies, believes it would be “madness” if India did not include rohit and kohli in their squad for the major tournament.
“I don’t know why this is a big thing (the debate on Rohit and Kohli). Social media can actually get in the way of cricketers by questioning their potential. Rohit with the experience and Kohli being Kohli, it would be madness if India pick a team for the (T20) World Cup and they are not in them,” Russel was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
He then backed Virat and Rohit’s selection by putting them in the same bracket as the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
“Rohit is a big game player. Kohli loves the big stage. When a player enjoys being in such a situation, he is not nervous or tentative. I hope the board doesn’t listen to the media and decide. I would definitely give them this World Cup. Don’t treat big players like that. They have done so much for Indian cricket. They are right in that bracket of Sachin Tendulkar. So, it will be unfair to them. It will be madness if they are not picked,” he added.
Kohli and Rohit are top two run scorers in T20Is
Notably, Rohit and Kohli are the two most prolific run scorers in T20I history, respectively. Rohit brings with him a wealth of experience spanning more than 16 years. Having competed for India in all eight T20 World Cups. However, Kohli has won the coveted Player of the Tournament title twice in the history of the competition. And he is the all-time lead run scorer in T20Is and T20 World Cup history (2014 and 2016).
Therefore, if India does not include the two format mainstays in their lineup, they are taking a significant risk.