BCCI wanted Rohit as T20 captain for SA tour but things changed after video call | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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BCCI selectors wanted Rohit as India's T20 captain for SA tour but decision changed after request on video call: Report

Dec 01, 2023 04:52 PM IST

It is very likely that Rohit Sharma, who hasn't played since the semi-final loss to England in T20 World Cup 2022, will be back as India's T20I captain soon.

The Indian selection committee led by former pacer Ajit Agarkar wanted to hand over the T20I captaincy back to Rohit Sharma for the South Africa tour but the Indian captain requested a break from the white-ball leg of the tour. A report in The Indian Express said Rohit joined the selection meeting held at a New Delhi hotel on Thursday, via a video call from London to make his decision known. The Agarkar-led selection panel, although wanting to give T20I captaincy back to Rohit, agreed to his request. Rohit is currently holidaying in the UK with his family and will return to lead the Indian side for the two-match Test series starting on December 26.

(FILES) India's captain Rohit Sharma(AFP)
(FILES) India's captain Rohit Sharma(AFP)

But as things stand now, it is very much likely that Rohit, who hasn't played since the semi-final loss to England in T20 World Cup 2022, will be back as India's T20I captain soon and in all likelihood, will also lead India's charge in the upcoming World Cup in June. Notably, BCCI never made any official announcement regarding India's T20 captaincy. Hardik Pandya was leading India in Rohit's absence since the T20 World Cup in Australia last year but he was never named India's T20 captain officially.

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Hardik's injury which he sustained during the ODI World Cup may have had a huge role to play in it. Hardik hasn't featured in any matches since that injury in the Bangladesh match in October and there is no clarity on his return. He was not included in any of the squads for the South Africa tour.

It is understood that Hardik is no longer an automatic choice for T20 captaincy in the T20 World Cup next year if Rohit decides to play the shortest format.

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"Rohit has been offered T20 captaincy but he is in the UK on holiday and wants an extended break after four months of gruelling season till end of the World Cup. But as captain, he has the highest respect for the dressing room and if he agrees to lead India in T20 World Cup, he will lead," a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

Rohit was not the only senior member of the World Cup squad given a break from the white-ball leg of the South Africa tour. Virat Kohli's request for a break from the limited-overs games has also been accepted as Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul will lead the national team in T20Is and ODIs respectively. Jasprit Bumrah too will only be in action during the Test series.

After the T20 World Cup in 2022, Rohit had actually been reluctant to play the shortest format as he focused on 50-over cricket.

Interestingly, most of the players selected for ODIs don't feature either in Tests or T20Is.

Only three players have been selected in all three squads -- Shreyas Iyer, Mukesh Kumar and Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Axar Patel has been dropped from the T20 squad and Ravindra Jadeja is the new T20 vice-captain for the series.

The T20I series starts on December 10.

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