Should Virat and Rohit play T20 World Cup 2024?

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | January 06, 2024 IST

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

New Delhi, Jan 6: Should they play another World Cup? Or, should youngsters must replace them, because they have not been able to win ICC titles for their team in last few years!

In their long playing careers, they both have tested World Cup title victories.

 But considering their potential, enviable track record, immense talent, game exposure and the team they play for, they should have been part of more World Cup Final wins. 

They even played two WTC Championship Finals, but on both occasions they were both on the losing side.

Yes, cricket icons Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are immensely capable of winning more ICC titles. But unfortunately, they have not been able to do so.

Agreed, cricket is a team sport and to blame a handful of individuals for Team India's not so impressive track record in ICC event finals is bit injustice. 

But Virat and Rohit Sharma have won India several matches almost single headedly on numerous occasions for years. Therefore, the expectations are bound to be sky high.

The heartbreak in 2023 ODI World Cup Final against Australia, after India posted 10 consecutive wins, is too huge a shock to overcome. 

Now, there is another World Cup due this year, though a T20 one. 

The question remains, should the two veterans play T20 World 2024?

Opinions may vary. But legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar believes having the senior duo of Virat and Rohit will be of immense advantage to the team in the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, adding that the duo are still great fielders and will be assets on the field.

Both Virat and Rohit haven’t played any T20I match after India suffered a ten-wicket thrashing at the hands of England in the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup semi-final in Adelaide, Australia. With the 2024 T20 World Cup happening in West Indies and USA from June 1-29, it remains to be seen if the duo will be included in the Indian team for the mega event.

Virat was leading run-getter in 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup and won Player of the Tournament award, while Rohit gave fast starts to the team in the power-play with the bat and led them to ten straight wins in the competition before losing to Australia in the final.

"Kohli's form has been outstanding in the last 1.5 years. He played unbelievably in the 2023 World Cup, making 750 runs with 3 centuries. So there is no doubt about his limited-overs batting. But what makes me feel good is their fielding capacity. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are still great fielders and will be of great help on the field," said Gavaskar to broadcasters Star Sports.

Similar views were echoed by Irfan Pathan, the former left-arm pacer who was a member of 2007 Men’s T20 World Cup winning Indian team. "Personally, I would like to see Virat on the pitch because when we talk about two years back, definitely he was not in his best form. But the last IPL and T20 were one of the most amazing tournaments for him.”

“Also, when you are playing in countries like West Indies and the USA, there are quite a few unknown pitches, and here you will need experienced players like Kohli and Rohit Sharma, both on and off the field."

"The playing of both the players also depends upon team management and their fitness, but I would love seeing both of them on the field, especially when Rohit has also changed his form and has been making a lot of runs in One Day Cricket," he said.

India, the 2007 T20 World Cup winners, are slotted in Group A alongside Pakistan, USA, Canada and Ireland. They kick off their campaign against Ireland on June 5 at the 34,000 seater Eisenhower Park stadium in Nassau County, New York, before facing Pakistan in a highly-anticipated clash at the same venue on June 9.

They will play their third game in New York against tournament hosts’ USA on June 12, before facing off against Canada at Broward County in Lauderhill, Miami, Florida on June 15. All of India’s matches have a start timing of 8:30pm IST.

"I was present at the 2007 T20 World Cup, and it was one of the most exciting times. I've seen MS Dhoni and Irfan Pathan playing on the field and winning for India. Clearly, from there, the craze for T20 boomed in India. Before that, nobody was very well-versed with this format. That win of India helped IPL as well to take off in India,” concluded Gavaskar. (With IANS support)

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