Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Virat Kohli likely to remain out of T20 World Cup 2024 squad as selectors weigh Rohit Sharma’s spot: Report

After a decent performance in South Africa, Team India is setting its eye on the T20 World Cup 2024 scheduled in the USA and West Indies in June this year. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli led Team India to soaring heights in 2023, and are expected to play a crucial role in the upcoming World Cup, but suspense remains over their inclusion in the squad. The sources have suggested that the Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel might be forced to choose only one of the two due to certain external factors.

Both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli didn’t play much T20 cricket in 2023, but Rohit Sharma’s aggressive performance in Asia Cup 2023 and ODI World Cup 2023 displayed that he is more than ready for T20 cricket. Virat Kohli has been phenomenal in all formats of the game last year, but his average in T20 format may push the selectors to re-think his position in the squad.

Combination dilemma

“If you have Rohit, Shubman Gill, Virat, Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik constituting your top five then where is your left-hander? Now, let’s assume you drop Kohli and play Gill at No.3 with Yashasvi Jaiswal opening with Rohit. Can Ajit take that bold call,” a former national selector told PTI on the condition of anonymity.

Ajit Agarkar flew to South Africa during the India series and had a word with the senior players of the team. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have made themselves available for selection in the T20 World Cup 2024, but the selection panel will have to consider a number of external factors before making the final decision and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) might have to intervene at some stage.

“Flexibility will always be an issue but there will always be external factors that need to be countered. Did you see ICC promoting the tourney with Kohli’s giant billboard video in New York? MI handle put that aerial advert of Rohit and Shaheen Shah Afridi. So there will be external pressure,” a former BCCI office-bearer said.

“It will be on Jay how much he can empower Agarkar’s committee. As of now, you need to accommodate both or drop both. The sensible thing would be to include both for Afghanistan and not make any promise for World T20 till the IPL performance is monitored,” the veteran administrator said.

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Published: 07 Jan 2024, 03:06 PM IST

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