India’s two superstar batters, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, haven’t played a single T20 international for the national team this year. With Hardik Pandya leading the Indian troops in the shortest format, both Kohli and Rohit have been sitting out of the shortest format matches. The situation is the same for some other veterans like Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, etc. In an interview, Rohit was asked about his and Virat’s absence from T20Is, and the India captain gave an answer that left the reporter stumped.
Rohit explained his and other senior players’ absence, saying last year was the same, as the players decided not to play ODIs as there was a T20 World Cup scheduled.
“Last year also we did the same thing – the T20 World Cup was there, so we didn’t play one-day cricket. Now also we are doing the same, the ODI World Cup is there, so we are not playing T20s. You can’t play everything and be ready for the World Cup. We decided this two years ago. (Ravindra) Jadeja is also not playing T20, you did not ask about him? I understand about the focus (on himself and Virat). But Jadeja is also not playing,” Rohit responded to the reporter’s question.
Both Rohit and Virat would be seen next in the Asia Cup which starts at the end of this month. The Asia Cup will give the Indian team a fair idea about the forthcoming World Cup, an event Rohit’s men will be keen to win, having last won an ICC trophy 10 years ago.
After the conclusion of the ODI World Cup, it would be interesting to see if Rohit and Kohli return to the T20I fold for India. The next T20I World Cup is scheduled to be held in 2024 and the Hitman has already expressed that he is looking forward to it.