‘If at all Virat, Rohit or Bumrah play…’: Ex-IND star for T20 World Cup

Virat and Rohit

Rohit, Kohli, and Bumrah won’t play in the T20I series in South Africa, which is one of the few internationals India play before the IPL and T20 World Cup.

The Indian team for their upcoming T20I series against South Africa is largely unchanged from the one that recently beat Australia 4-1. It means that they have stuck to a rather young team for the series, many of whom would be playing in South Africa for the first time in their senior careers. It also meant that India’s senior stars like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah will miss yet another T20I series in the buildup to the T20 World Cup next year.

India currently have just one more T20I series scheduled to be played after the South Africa series before the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) could kick off. That will be a three-match series at home against Afghanistan. Former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel said that the team will find it challenging to arrive at the right combination for the T20 World Cup, which he said has been their problem in the tournaments they have played in recent years.

“India’s biggest challenge to me has always been finding that right combination, especially in the T20 format. And we don’t have games. Now we are talking about just three Afghanistan games if at all Virat or Rohit or Bumrah play in that. So I think it is something which India will have to take into account,” said Parthiv on Cricbuzz.

“Or else, they will have to go with whoever does well in the IPL. But then you will have to announce the team about halfway through the IPL as well. So it is a challenge. I am sure that before announcing the team they must have thought of who is in line for the World Cup and whether we want to get them for the Afghanistan series. It is a tricky situation.”

Bumrah has played just two T20Is in over a year, although he spent much of it recovering from an injury and didn’t play any cricket. Both Rohit and Kohli have not played a T20I since India’s exit from the 2022 T20 World Cup. Ravindra Jadeja, who hasn’t played a T20I since August last year, returns in the South Africa series as the team’s vice-captain.

‘Problem of plenty is still a problem for India’: Parthiv

“I think they are looking at more options by going with this young squad. There is no lack of supply of talent in India. A problem of plenty is still a problem and we have to find the right combination. In whatever tournaments they have played, India were not out-skilled. They were tactically outplayed. Whether it was the 2023 final, the 2021 T20 World Cup where India was playing that outdated T20 game, in 2019 there was a problem of No.4,” said Parthiv.

Parthiv also said that the fact that there is uncertainty over who will captain India in the next T20 World Cup is all part of the issue. “I guess Rahul Dravid would be coach, there is also confusion about that. We don’t know who will be the captain. I think their biggest problem going into this T20 World Cup would be finding the right combination,” he said.

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