The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has finally put an end to the speculation surrounding Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s T20 International (T20I) future by including them in the 16-man squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series against Afghanistan. This marks their return to the T20I format after a hiatus of 14 months, significantly hinting at their likely participation in the 2024 T20 World Cup. The squad announcement, however, raises several questions, as this series against Afghanistan serves as India’s last assignment before the ICC event scheduled for June. Fans and cricket enthusiasts will keenly observe the performance of these stalwarts as India prepares for the prestigious T20 World Cup.

The recent announcement of India’s T20I squad for the upcoming series against Afghanistan:

Return of Kohli and Rohit:

  • Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been included in the 16-man squad, making their comeback to T20Is after 14 months.
  • This inclusion suggests that they are back in the T20 World Cup plans, scheduled to take place in June 2024 in the West Indies and the USA.

Hardik Pandya’s Backup – Shivam Dube:

  • With Hardik Pandya unavailable due to an ankle injury, Shivam Dube has been selected as a potential backup option.
  • The squad aims to address the need for balance and flexibility, particularly in the absence of Pandya’s all-round skills.

Opportunity for Sanju Samson:

  • Sanju Samson, who recently scored a century in the ODI series against South Africa, gets another chance to showcase his T20 credentials.
  • Samson will be competing for a spot in the middle order with Jitesh Sharma during the Afghanistan series.

Absence of KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan:

  • KL Rahul, despite expressing his desire to be an all-format middle-order wicketkeeper-batsman, has not found a place in the T20I squad.
  • Ishan Kishan, known for bringing flexibility to the batting line-up, will miss the series due to his withdrawal from the Test series against South Africa for mental well-being reasons.

Yuzvendra Chahal Not Part of T20 World Cup Plans:

  • Yuzvendra Chahal, despite his IPL success, is not included in the T20I squad, indicating he might not be part of the T20 World Cup plans.
  • The selectors seem to prefer Ravi Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav as specialist spin options for the World Cup.

No T20Is for Jasprit Bumrah Before World Cup:

  • Jasprit Bumrah has been excluded from the T20I series against Afghanistan to manage his workload ahead of the crucial five-Test series against England.
  • Bumrah, a certainty for the T20 World Cup, has played only two T20Is in the last 15 months.

These developments highlight the team management‘s focus on squad balance, player workload management, and providing opportunities for individuals to stake their claim for the T20 World Cup. The IPL 2024 season is expected to play a key role in shaping the final squad for the mega event.


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