Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli Set for T20I Return Against Afghanistan

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli return to the T20I fold against Afghanistan, aiming for a strong comeback ahead of the T20 World Cup. Former chief selector MSK Prasad expresses confidence.

The upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan, starting January 11, will see the return of captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, marking their first T20I appearance since the T20 World Cup in Australia in November 2022. While some view this recall as a deviation from India’s youthful T20 policy, former chief selector MSK Prasad believes it is a strategic move, expressing no doubt about the duo participating in the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies from June 1-29.

Acknowledging the rest given to Rohit and Virat after the South Africa tour, Prasad emphasized the necessity of the break after the ODI World Cup. He stated, “There’s no doubt that Virat and Rohit will be a part of the T20 World Cup, so they should start playing right from this series.”

Having been absent from the T20I format for over a year due to commitments in the lead-up to the 2023 World Test Championship final and the ODI World Cup 2023, Rohit and Virat prioritized ODIs during that period. Prasad explained, “Now that we are heading towards a T20, they should be back to action.”

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The three-match T20I series against Afghanistan, taking place on January 11, 14, and 17 in Mohali, Indore, and Bengaluru, respectively, marks India’s first bilateral men’s T20I series against Afghanistan. Prasad stressed the importance of having the best possible team for these matches, considering they are the last international series before the T20 World Cup.

Expressing confidence in the return of key players, Prasad anticipates a challenging task for the selection committee led by Ajit Agarkar in finalizing India’s squad for the mega event. The former chief selector highlighted considerations such as the form of players like Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Shubman Gill, with the IPL playing a crucial role in shaping the final lineup.

“They must keep ringing the bell so the selectors have a good headache,” concluded Prasad, emphasizing the significance of strong performances in the IPL to secure a spot in the T20 World Cup squad.

IANS