'Players like Rohit, Virat look at...': Mhambrey on seniors in bilateral T20Is | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Players like Rohit, Virat look at very specific areas in their T20 games': Mhambrey on seniors in bilateral T20Is

Dec 08, 2023 06:31 PM IST

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have not played a T20I since the semi-finals of the 2022 T20 World Cup.

India are set to face South Africa away from home in a three-match T20I series that starts on Sunday. The series kicks off their tour of South Africa that includes three ODIs and ends with two Test matches. India have gone with a largely similar team in the T20Is that played Australia at home in a recently-concluded five-match series which means that Suryakumar Yadav is their captain and senior players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are not playing.

Rohit and Virat won't be part of the Indian team for the T20I series against South Africa(REUTERS)
Rohit and Virat won't be part of the Indian team for the T20I series against South Africa(REUTERS)

While the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are still expected to play a role in the T20 World Cup next year, there are question marks over Rohit and Kohli will be part of the squad. India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey has now said that younger players are being fielded in bilateral series to “understand the team's areas of adaptability”.

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“In no way it means that bilateral T20Is aren't important,” he told PTI. “All I'm saying is that there is a balance that every player must maintain. Also it depends on who we are talking about. Players like Rohit, Virat look at very specific areas in their T20 games be it IPL or India.”

Most of the players in the T20I squad for the South Africa series will be playing in the country for the first time. "One would like to watch younger players during bilaterals and examine and understand areas of their adaptability - game awareness, pressure situations, how they adapt to these varied situations the Indian jersey carries," said Mhambrey.

'Would never say people don't want to play red-ball cricket'

Mhambrey said that the younger crop of fast bowlers will always put red-ball cricket above the white ball regardless of how lucrative the latter gets. "I would never say people don't want to play red-ball cricket. Even now if you ask any aspiring fast bowler or spinner what is the format you want to excel in, he will always pick Test cricket first," he said.

He said that bowlers who choose to play only the white ball format would mostly be players who have tried a hand at red ball cricket.

"Yes, obviously, there will be some bowlers, who would choose the white ball format. They would have probably played all formats and then decided that their game and skill-sets suit the white ball format more. Now that will be a very individual call and no one can do anything about it," he said.

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