T20 game has moved on from Rohit and Kohli: Ex-India Player issues a big statement
As multiple young performers enjoy their impressive ascents in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), prominent voices on the outside feel time is ripe for India to press the transition button officially and move past ageing veterans Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Calls for India to remove Kohli and Rohit from their T20I side and focus energies on the spree of younger talents have been rife for quite some time now. It picked up steam in the aftermath of India's disappointing semifinal exit at the T20 World Cup in Australia last year.
Experts have been insisting India would be better off preparing for the next iteration of the ICC event in the USA and West Indies with a younger squad under a new captain. Signs to this front came earlier this year when the selectors rested skipper Rohit and Kohli for T20Is versus Sri Lanka and New Zealand, letting premier allrounder Hardik Pandya lead a fresh-looking unit.
A clearer picture would emerge only near the next T20 World Cup in early 2024 but for now, it seems the plan is indeed for Pandya to take a squad of young troops to the Caribbean, signalling the end of an era with the departures of Kohli and Rohit.
Saba Karim urges India to move past Kohli, Rohit in T20Is
Among the experts following the IPL 2023 closely, former India wicketkeeper-batter and ex selector, Saba Karim, reckons the timing couldn't be more perfect for the contemporary selection panel to formally take a call on Kohli and Rohit's T20I future and dedicate their energies on youngster.
While Kohli is aged 34, Rohit is 36. Both the cricketers have been undergoing a sustained period of dip in their respective strike-rates, especially versus spin - a scenario that hurt India badly in the semifinal loss to England in Adelaide.
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Besides, they've been advised by prominent figures within the Indian set-up to give up the shortest format and look to stretch their Test and ODI careers, letting the youngsters take the centre stage in T20Is in the Indian jersey.
When one sees Jaiswal and SKY bat, it is amply clear that T20 game has moved on from Rohit sharma and Virat Kohli!!@anilkumble1074 @bhogleharsha— Syed Saba Karim (@SyedSabaKarim5) May 11, 2023
Karim's word came in wake of watching Yashasvi Jaiswal and Suryakumar Yadav dominate in the last few weeks of IPL 2023. While Jaiswal has been on an amazing rise with his game and has scored 575 runs in his 12 innings of the ongoing tournament at a strike-rate past 160, Suryakumar has only reinforced his status as the world's leading T20 batter with 479 runs and strike-rate above 190.