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“Thought Team Moved on from Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma”: Former Indian Cricketer Discusses ‘Directionless’ T20I Strategy

<p>Following the conclusion of India’s 2022 T20 World Cup campaign, there was speculation that the squad might change course, with veteran players like batting mainstays Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli expected to be eased out.</p>
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<p>Hardik Pandya was selected captain of a youngish side that traveled New Zealand in India’s first Twenty20 International assignment since the T20 World in Australia. After India’s semi-final defeat from the T20I extravaganza, up to 11 players made their format debuts, suggesting that preparations for the next world cup had already begun.</p>
<p>Nevertheless, despite neither player having played a T20I in 14 months, the selectors have brought both Rohit and Kohli back into the lineup five months before the 2024 World Cup.</p>
<p>Although Deep Dasgupta, a former India wicketkeeper-battler, is a bit taken aback by the move, he believes the decision to recall the two seasoned players may have been made because the World Cup surfaces may not be as batting-friendly as they are in Twenty20 Internationals.</p>
<p>“I’m a little surprised because I thought the team had moved on from Rohit and Kohli in the T20 format,” Dasgupta said on Star Sports. “Having said that, the primary critique of Rohit’s performance in the 50-over World Cup was the older players’ lack of effort in the previous three T20 World Cups. The pitches to be anticipated in the West Indies will need us to keep that in mind. Are we anticipating a game with a wicket total of 180, 200, or 160-ish? I’m a bit shocked since, like many others, I had assumed that we would be looking beyond these two outstanding players.</p>
<p>Dasgupta also believes that the squad is back to square one after the most recent decision, despite the fact that several combinations have been tried since the last T20 World Cup.</p>
<p>“To be absolutely honest, over the last year, I haven’t seen much direction for India (in T20 cricket). I’m not sure what progress we’ve made in the last year, starting from nothing, if they had to go back to Kohli and Rohit. For the first time since the World Cup, they will play. There isn’t much you can do. This squad won’t be changing all that much right now. There will be no change in the middle-order. You won’t notice any changes, in my opinion,” Dasgupta said.</p>
<p>Remember that the pitches in the West Indies are not conducive to batting. This seems like a superior alternative in 160–170 sorts of games. You have the skills and background (in Kohli and Rohit),” he said.</p>
<p>However, Dasgupta worries that players like Tilak Varma and Rinku Singh would have trouble getting a berth in the World Cup team once it is selected once Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, and Suryakumar become available.</p>
<p>You could see Rinku and Tilak both (in the eleven) against Afghanistan but don’t believe either of them (Rinku and Tilak) will find a spot until Hardik, Jadeja, and Surya become available. Whether it’s Sanju (Samson) or Jitesh (Sharma), you have to play a wicketkeeper,” he said.</p>
<p>“The IPL is not the right yardstick by which to judge someone like Rohit or Virat’s future. Virat will undoubtedly score 500 runs, even if his season is terrible. Seeing Rohit will be intriguing since he won’t be captaining the Mumbai Indians. The team of 95% of India is verified, in my opinion. Additionally, compared to the other two formats, the captain’s job is fairly significant in this one. Thus, I think Rohit may also end up captaining India in the World Cup,” he said.</p>

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