Rohit Sharma has put BCCI in a tricky spot. The upcoming South Africa tour has stirred a bee of uncertainties within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), primarily revolving around the leadership role in the T20 Internationals. Rohit Sharma, despite previous assertions against participating in the T20 format, stands at the center of this decision-making storm.
The pivotal meeting between BCCI’s Secretary Jay Shah and Chairman of the Selection Committee Ajit Agarkar in New Delhi aims to not only finalize the squads for the South Africa tour but also chart a roadmap leading to the impending T20 World Cup.
BCCI in search of new captain to lead Team India as Rohit Sharma Shuns T20
The absence of regular T20 skipper Hardik Pandya, recovering from an ankle ligament tear post the ODI World Cup, has posed a critical decision before the BCCI. The dilemma arises between entrusting Suryakumar Yadav with captaincy or continuing with Rohit Sharma, whose commendable leadership during the ODI World Cup has garnered global acclaim.
Sources reveal that the BCCI is inclined towards extending Rohit Sharma‘s leadership stint till the T20 World Cup next year, despite his previous reluctance towards T20s. However, this decision hinges on Rohit’s willingness to helm the T20 side.
“If Rohit agrees to lead in T20Is, he will lead in the T20 World Cup. In case Rohit doesn’t agree, then Suryakumar continues as captain for T20Is in South Africa,” a source familiar with the developments conveyed to PTI.
Another significant aspect concerns the workload management as India faces a packed schedule, featuring six white-ball matches within 11 days, followed by the Test series merely five days later.
Virat Kohli, seeking respite from white-ball games, further complicates the scenario. His future appearances will likely align with his performance in the upcoming IPL, similarly applicable to K L Rahul, contingent on his role as a wicketkeeper-batter for Lucknow Super Giants in the forthcoming season.
The selection process for the Test squad sees the potential return of Rahul and Shreyas Iyer post-injury layoffs. This impending comeback could lead to Ajinkya Rahane facing exclusion, with Cheteshwar Pujara facing slim chances of making the cut.
The pacer’s ensemble for the Test series appears robust, with Bumrah’s fitness reaffirmed and potential inclusions of Shami, Siraj, Thakur, and the promising Mukesh Kumar.
The spin department is expected to be led by Jadeja in overseas conditions, complemented by Ashwin and either Axar Patel or Kuldeep Yadav.
However, Kona Bharat’s inclusion may hinge on Rahul’s preference regarding the wicketkeeping duties.
The BCCI faces an intricate web of decisions encompassing leadership roles, player selections, workload management, and squad compositions, elevating the stakes for India’s impending tour of South Africa.