BCCI getting sleepless nights before Afghanistan series as Rohit, Kohli want to play T20 World Cup: Report
BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar is set to speak to captain Rohit, head coach Dravid and star batter Kohli during the 2nd Test in South Africa.
Following their second and final Test match against South Africa that begins on Wednesday in Cape Town, India will gear up for the last T20I assignment before the T20 World Cup in June this year. The Men in Blue, who beat Australia 4-1 at home in November in a T20I series before being held to a 1-1 draw against the Proteas in December, will take on Afghanistan in a three-match contest between January 11 and 17. The Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee, hence, will have their task cut out when they pick the squad for the all-important series. But the big question remains - will Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma return to the shortest format against Afghanistan and make themselves available for the T20 World Cup?
Kohli and Rohit have been out of T20Is since November 2022, when India incurred a semifinal exit in the T20 World Cup in Australia against England. While the veteran batters had their focus on the ODI format with the World Cup around last year, post the tournament, they were expected to return, at least for the series in South Africa. But both extended their hiatus period, leading to discussions over whether they intend to be part of the World Cup next year.
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According to a PTI report on Tuesday, Kohli and Rohit have made it clear that they are eager to participate in the ICC event in June. It further added that Agarkar, along with the other two national selectors, Shiv Sunder Das and Salil Ankola, are expected to speak to head coach Rahul Dravid along with Test and ODI skipper Rohit, star batter Kohli before announcing the squad against Afghanistan.
However, it remains unclear whether Kohli and Rohit will be part of the Afghanistan series. With the five-match England Test series beginning from January 25 onwards, it is unlikely that they would play beyond a couple of matches even if Rohit and Virat are selected.
The report also added that the Afghanistan series is unlikely to solve all of India's questions pertaining to the final squad for the T20 World Cup and that there stands a possibility that close to 25-30 players will be monitored during the two months of the 2024 Indian Premier League season.
“Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya aren’t fit. The Afghanistan series won’t tell you anything. Everything will be decided on the basis of the first month of IPL,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
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