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Rohit and Virat’s Return to T20: A Strategic Move or a Step Back?

In the latest squad announcement, the Indian cricket selectors have opted for familiarity, bringing back Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for their first T20 series in over a year. This decision raises questions about its potential impact on India’s performance in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

The legendary duo, Rohit and Virat, despite facing disappointment in recent T20 World Cups, seem eager for one last shot at glory in the format. However, the selectors, criticized for a conservative approach, had the chance to usher in a new era post the 2022 semi-final loss to England.

With Rohit and Kohli confirmed for the upcoming series against Afghanistan, it signals their likely inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad in the US and the Caribbean. This decision seems to reset India’s T20 strategy, reverting to an order that has faced criticism for being less aggressive.

While Rohit showcased a high-risk game in the recent ODI World Cup, Kohli’s game is tailored for the longer format. Yet, both will need to adapt to the aggressive demands of T20 cricket. Suryakumar Yadav, with a strike rate of 170 plus, exemplifies the modern T20 approach compared to Rohit and Kohli.

Promising talents like Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad demonstrated potential in the absence of senior players. However, experience holds value in ICC events, a sentiment echoed by former players like Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly, supporting Rohit and Kohli’s inclusion.

Former selector Sarandeep Singh justifies this decision as crucial for building bench strength. He believes this T20 World Cup could be the last for Rohit and Virat, and resting them provides opportunities for emerging talents. Performance in the IPL will likely clarify the World Cup probables.

Aakash Chopra suggests that the selectors had a tough choice to make — including both greats or none. This decision, he feels, reflects the duo’s intention not to play another T20 World Cup after 2022.

Initially, Hardik Pandya led the T20 side in Rohit’s absence, but another injury setback seems to have sidelined him. Now, Rohit is back as captain with Kohli by his side for the series against Afghanistan. The big question remains: can they clinch that elusive ICC title? The answer will unfold in five months’ time.

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