Top BCCI officials recently had a marathon meeting with India captain Rohit Sharma, head coach Rahul Dravid and the selection committee to discuss various things about Indian cricket. Among the top agendas was the review of India’s ODI World Cup campaign. They ended up as the runners-up after losing the final to Australia. BCCI secretary Jay Shah, vice president Rajeev Shukla, and treasurer Ashish Shelar also wanted to know the roadmap of Indian cricket going ahead, especially considering the fact the T20 World Cup is just six months away. The ODI, T20I and Test squads for the South Africa tour were also picked during the meeting.
Rohit, who joined the meeting held in New Delhi, via a zoom call as he was in London at that time, enjoying quality time with his family after a gruelling few months of non-stop cricket, reportedly asked the top BCCI officials and the selectors if they wanted him to be a part of the upcoming T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA. An official present in the meeting narrated the conversation between Rohit and the others, as reported by Dainik Jagran.
Rohit asks BCCI officials and selectors about T20 World Cup future
Rohit asked the officials present and the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee if they saw him playing in the T20 World Cup. ‘If you want to select me for the T20 World Cup then tell me now how to go about it,’ said Rohit in the meeting according to the official, as reported in the Hindi daily.
The officials present, coach Dravid and the selectors reportedly agreed unanimously that Rohit is the right man to lead the team’s charge in the T20 World Cup. The report added that the selectors, in fact, wanted Rohit to take charge of the T20I side from the South Africa tour itself but the veteran opener requested a break from the entire white-ball leg.
The selectors agreed to that and decided to continue with Suryakumar Yadav as captain for the three-match ODI series starting December 10. KL Rahul, on the other hand, was handed over the captaincy for the ODI squad.
Rohit will return as captain in the two-match Test series that is slated to begin on December 26.
What about Hardik Pandya?
Notably, Rohit has not played a single T20I since the World Cup held in Australia in 2022. After India lost in the semi-final of that tournament to England, Rohit and Virat Kohli decided to take a break from the shortest format. The captaincy for the India T20I side was given to Hardik Pandya.
It should be mentioned, that the BCCI never announced Pandya as the captain of India’s T20I side officially nor was anything mentioned about Rohit and Kohli’s future in this format. The dynamic batters decide to skip T20Is for the last year or so to concentrate on the ODI World Cup. Now that it is out of the way, there is no reason to believe they would not be considered for T20I selection.
Pandya’s ankle injury which he sustained during an ODI World Cup group-stage match against Bangladesh, is also believed to have played a role in the selectors going back to Rohit. The all-rounder was ruled out of the World Cup, the home series against Australia and the entire South Africa tour. With no timeline for his return and his injury-prone nature, considering him as a long-term captain in any format has become difficult.
A young Indian side led by Suryakumar beat Australia 4-1 in the recently concluded T20I series. Most members of that side have been retained for the South Africa tour. India have only six more T20Is scheduled before the World Cup. Therefore, the form of those in reckoning in the first half of the IPL is likely to play a crucial role in selection.