The India vs Afghanistan T20I series starts on Thursday. It is the last T20I series that Indian cricket team will play before the 2024 T20 World Cup, which begins in June. This series and the IPL are likely to be the deciders for the final Indian cricket squad that will play in the 2023T20 World Cup. The biggest news coming from the team selection was the return of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli into the T20I fold. Both veterans have not played any T20I sine the 2022 T20 World Cup. But with their selection, things have become very interesting. There was another call which has added to the intrigue – the absence of Ishan Kishan.
Ishan Kishan had wanted a break during the India vs South Africa series due to personal reasons.
The T20 squad also features Sanju Samson and Jitesh Sharma, who will be the two wicketkeeper with Ishan Kishan being ignored for the shortest format.
“Ishan wasn’t happy that he was travelling without much game time. He is on a break right now and is vacationing. In any case, selectors are in all likelihood are looking beyond Kishan. It will be interesting if he is picked for England Test series where KS Bharat will be back behind the stumps,” news agency PTI quoted a BCCI source as saying.
The report added that while Rohit’s chances of leading India in the T20 World Cup has considerably brightened, the development comes across as a big blow to Hardik’s captaincy ambitions at the global event in June. However, he has replaced Rohit Sharma as Mumbai Indians skipper for IPL 2024.
“Decisions on Rohit and Virat can’t solely be taken by the selection committee. There is a lot at stake, broadcasters, sponsors and you can’t pick one and drop the other. Ajit and his team needed to maintain a status quo,” a former India selector told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja, the two Test team certainties, have been rested and Ruturaj Gaikwad isn’t fit to play yet.
All-rounder Shivam Dube has also been named in the squad in Hardik’s absence.
The Afghanistan series will be India’s last before the World Cup, which takes place right after the IPL.
Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith reckons leaving out the likes of Rohit and Kohli from any team is extremely tough. “I wouldn’t want to be a selector. It’s a very tough decision to leave out two players who have been incredible. Virat always comes back incredibly well. With the amount of talent that India has now, it is a difficult choice to make,” said Smith on the sidelines of an interaction organised ahead of SA20.
India’s Squad for 3 T20Is against Afghanistan: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.
With PTI inputs
Topics mentioned in this article