‘Selectors needed to maintain status quo’: Why Rohit, Kohli made T20I return

New Delhi: Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are all set to play their first-ever T20I match after 14 months, having prioritised the ODI World Cup and the ongoing World Test Championship over the duration, after being picked in the 16-man squad for the three-match contest against Afghanistan, which begins from January 11 onwards in Mohali. There were long discussions and debates on whether two will and should be part of he T20 World Cup squad, having not played against Australia and South Africa post the ICC ODI tournament, but the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee on Sunday confirmed that the two veterans are all but part of the big plans for the big event in June.
Rohit and Kohli played their last T20I game in the semifinal knockout against England in the 2022 T20 World Cup. They were expected to be part of the T20 World Cup scheme of things from the South Africa series onwards, if not against Australia. But with both opting out of the two contests, there began talks about Kohli and Rohit’s future in T20Is and whether they intend to play in the World Cup in June.
The BCCI selection committee have largely put the World Cup question to bed after picking them for the series against Afghanistan, but a former India selector, on conditions of anonymity, explained to PTI the true reason behind their T20I comeback. He revealed that there was a lot at stake for the selectors as the decision over their selection did not depend on the choices of the committee alone.
“Decisions on Rohit and Virat can’t solely be taken by the selection committee. There is a lot at stake, broadcasters, sponsors and you can’t pick one and drop the other. Ajit and his team needed to maintain a status quo,” he said.
The announcement also considerably increased Rohit’s chances of captaining India in ICC event, although it comes across as a big blow to Hardik’s captaincy ambitions at the global event. It was the all-rounder who led India in Rohit’s stead during that period of 14 months.

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