Virat Kohli was once the captain of the Indian cricket team in all formats. Rohit Sharma is leading the side in test and ODI formats. However, both have been excluded by BCCI in the upcoming T20 series against West Indies. BCCI, short for Board of Cricket Council in India, is seeing the 4-member selection committee now being led by Ajit Agarkar.
Kohli has 4k+ runs in the short format, and Sharma is leading the ranks with 3853 runs from 140 innings. But what explains the reason for excluding the senior players from the T20 series against the Indies that commences on August 03, 2023?
There are two theories to back BCCI’s decision.
One theory states that this is a part of the Council’s mission to phase out senior players from T20 matches. Kohli and Sharma last appeared for India in the 20-over format in the 2022 ICC World Cup. They have been kept away from it ever since. Close sources confirmed that the phasing out has indeed started. This dates back to the end of December 2022.
Meaning not having both the senior players in the squad could very well be a part of that plan. Hardik Pandya is yet to be announced as the full-time skipper. Yet, he will be leading along with Surya Kumar Yadav as the Vice Captain.
Another theory highlights that not having them in the T20 series is a way for the selection committee to manage their workload. With the ODI World Cup only a few days away, the Council is trying to make sure that they are not burdened with the format whose global event is no way closer at the moment.
If the second theory is to be believed, then it is right to assume that both right-handed batters will return to the India T20 squad after the ODI World Cup.
Just to make sure, their return is theoretical and lacks confirmation. Shami, the right-arm fast-medium pacer, too, last played a T20 international match in 2022’s World Cup. He is likely to be excluded from the list along with other seniors.
India is scheduled to play 2 test matches, 3 one-day internationals, and five T20s in the West Indies against the hosts. While Rohit Sharma will continue leading India in test matches and ODIs, Pandya will take the lead in the remaining format.
Hardik Pandya has been wonderful as the Indian captain in T20s. As of February 2023, the right-handed batter played a total of 11 matches, winning 8 of them and losing just 2. The single event was tied; however, it has given him a winning percentage of 77.27% on the international stage. In terms of series, Pandya has won all four series he led as a captain.
His T20I career spans 67 innings as a batter for 1,271 runs in total at an average of 25.42.
West Indies are coming to their backyard after facing the humiliated elimination in the ICC ODI World Cup Qualifiers. Some cricket betting sites are inclining toward India for the win, probably for a clean sweep.
If cricket is anything to go by, then fans can expect a tough fight by the Indies to redeem their loss in Super Six.