Nehra’s strong defence of ’36-year-old youngster’ Rohit, Kohli: ‘T20 World Cup is very far. If they want to play..’

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

Neither Rohit Sharma nor Virat Kohli have made an appearance in T20Is in 2023 so far but will BCCI pick them for next year’s T20 World Cup?

India’s two batting stalwarts – Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli – haven’t featured in T20Is since last year’s T20 World Cup. Hardik Pandya has since been leading the Indian team in the shortest format, and his injury during the World Cup saw Suryakumar Yadav taking over the leadership role in the ongoing series against Australia. Neither Rohit nor Kohli have publicly spoken about their future in T20Is; in their absence, the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Tilak Varma have produced strong performances in the shortest format, and continue to remain a part of the setup.

T20 World Cup 2024

As such, speculations continue over the duo’s future in the format; on Wednesday, news agency PTI reported that Rohit Sharma is unlikely to play T20Is anymore, and had even discussed his future in the shortest format before the start of the ODI World Cup. The report further stated that if the younger crop does not perform, the selectors or the BCCI brass might just ask Rohit to reconsider his current stand.

While there was no mention of Virat Kohli in the report, it is likely that the two India batting stalwarts will be assigned the power to make a decision on their T20I careers. And according to bowler-turned-coach Ashish Nehra, the duo should be given a free hand on whether it wants to return to the shortest format. Nehra believes that the youngsters will have to make way for Rohit and Kohli, should they decide to continue in T20Is.

For the ongoing Australia series, all players who participated in the ODI World Cup bar Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Prasidh Krishna have been rested.

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