'Concentrate on ODI and Tests' - Agarkar to put informal end on Kohli-Rohit's T20I career? - Reports
Two weeks into his role as India's men's selection panel head, Ajit Agarkar could be making one of the most significant decisions for the T20I side by putting an informal end on the dwindling careers of modern-day greats Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Approaching the twilight phase of their illustrious stints, Kohli and Rohit could be asked to focus primarily on prolonging their Tests and ODI career as India prepare for the 2024 T20 World Cup in the Caribbean & USA focusing on youth and promising talents under skipper Hardik Pandya.
Notably, the two giants of Indian cricket haven't featured in any of India's T20I games since the conclusion of the previous T20 World Cup in Australia last November, where the painstaking defeat to England in the semifinal laid bare deeper issues with India's approach to the shortest format and made the need for fresh guard abundantly clear.
Apart from their longstanding issues versus spin and an evident decline in their reflexes inspiring suggestions for two big names to prioritise the longer versions, there is also a growing consensus that the influx of youth and aggressive options is no longer an option but a necessity for India to keep their T20I set-up healthy and vibrant with times.
Agarkar to put a seal on Kohli, Rohit's T20I future?
While the decision-makers have been leaving hints at the transition phase making Kohli and Rohit dispensable to the T20I side's cause by resting them from the format entirely for past eight months, new selection chief Agarkar might be in for putting an informal end on their careers in the format now.
Agarkar will be travelling to the Caribbean ahead of the limited-overs leg of the ongoing tour to meet head coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit. And though the 2023 World Cup roadmap will be the immediate priority in discussions, there is also a strong likelihood that the fate of the two greats will be confirmed in T20Is, keeping in mind the 2024 T20 World Cup.
"The time to bring in young blood in the T20 set up is overdue. They need enough opportunities and exposure before the big event to settle into their roles. Agarkar will make it clear to both Rohit and Kohli that they should concentrate on ODI and Test cricket," a source close to the developments told The Telegraph.
If indeed Rohit and Kohli have played their last T20Is for India, this brings about a closure on two of the more successful and long careers. Rohit finishes with 3,853 runs in 148 matches at a strike-rate of 139.24; while Kohli ends after 4,008 runs from 115 games at 137.96.