BCCI on Thursday announced the squad for the South Africa tour. Three captains have been made for all three formats. Issuing a special note, BCCI wrote that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli had asked for rest for the white ball series on the tour, which has been given to them. That is, one thing is certain from this note both have the scope of making a comeback in T20. It’s believed that Virat and Rohit will return for the T20 World Cup.
This matter can be decided after IPL. Rohit was also offered captaincy for the South Africa tour, but he has distanced himself from it for now. Suryakumar Yadav will be seen captaining in T20 and KL Rahul in the ODI on the South Africa tour starting from December 10. At the same time, Rohit and Virat will make a comeback in the Test.
If Rohit returns, Hardik will become the vice-captain:
According to media reports, if Rohit decides to play in T20, then Hardik Pandya will not be a natural choice for T20 captaincy in next year’s T20 World Cup. A senior BCCI official said on condition of anonymity, ‘Rohit has been offered the T20 captaincy, but he is in Britain on holiday and wants a break after a busy four-month season. But as captain, he has the highest respect for the dressing room and if he agrees to lead India in the T20 World Cup, he will.
Decisions can be taken from IPL 2024:
According to reports, Rohit was reluctant to play the shortest format after the T20 World Cup 2022 as he wanted to focus on 50-over cricket and the World Cup. However, Rohit may make a comeback in the T20 World Cup, as Hardik’s injury problem from time to time has kept doubts in the minds of the selectors. Also, Rohit must have played a role in the way Hardik returned to Mumbai.
In such a situation, no one will be surprised if Rohit returns and is given the captaincy. However, its decision can be taken directly in IPL. It will be interesting to see whether Hardik captains the side in the next IPL season or plays inside Rohit. If Hardik captains and Rohit plays under him, then it will become clear that Rohit can be ready to play under him in the World Cup too, or else Rohit will not return.
India has to play 8 T20 matches:
If Rohit captains the team in the next season, then there is every possibility that he will make a comeback in the T20 World Cup. Not only this, India does not have to play much T20 before the T20 World Cup. Including the T20 against Australia today, Team India will play a total of eight T20s as per the current schedule till the T20 World Cup.
Apart from the remaining two matches against Australia, three T20s on the South Africa tour, and then three T20s at home against Afghanistan in January. After this, India has to play a five-match Test series against England. Once that ends, the IPL will start, and then the T20 World Cup in June. That means there is no possibility of Rohit’s return in T20 at the moment. Virat can also decide on his comeback in the shortest format from IPL itself.
Completely changed team in ODI:
Rohit can also be seen making a comeback in ODI after the T20 World Cup. Rohit and Virat are likely to play in ODIs till the 2025 Champions Trophy. By giving captaincy to Rahul, BCCI is certainly looking at Team India around him. There are many young players in the team selected for the ODI series against South Africa.
The bowling of Team India is also new, in which neither Jasprit Bumrah nor Siraj nor Shami are there. Only three players are part of all three teams. These include Shreyas Iyer, Mukesh Kumar, and Rituraj Gaikwad. Sai Sudarshan, Rajat Patidar, and Rinku Singh will be the new faces in the ODI, while Sanju Samson has also returned.
Jadeja becomes vice-captain in T20:
Axar Patel has been dropped from the T20 squad and Ravindra Jadeja has been made the new T20 vice-captain for the series. The National Selection Committee has not included Shrikar Bharat in the Test team as expected, because KL Rahul is now ready to play the role of specialist wicketkeeper in Test matches.
Apart from him, Ishan Kishan is also there as a wicketkeeper in Test. However, it will be interesting to see what difference Rishabh Pant’s return will make. It will be interesting to see whether Rahul or Kishan will be out. With Rahul being in the Test team as a wicketkeeper, two places will be created in the playing 11. In such a situation, both Shreyas Iyer and Rituraj Gaikwad may get a chance to play in the middle order.
Virat-Rohit played the last T20 on 10 November 2022:
Rohit and Virat played their last T20 match against England on 10 November 2022 in Adelaide. This was a semi-final match of T20 World Cup 2022. Since then both of them have not played T20. However, the way the chief selector and the BCCI tried to convince Rohit for captaincy before the South Africa tour, it is certain that they want to see the Hitman in this format. The way Rohit batted in the ODI World Cup was brilliant. He scored 597 runs in 11 matches at an excellent strike rate of 125.95. Among those who scored 400 or more runs, his strike rate was the highest after Glenn Maxwell.
Indian team for South Africa tour:
T20: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Tilak Verma, Suryakumar Yadav (captain), Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Jitesh Sharma (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-captain), Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Deepak Chahar.
ODI: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudarshan, Tilak Verma, Rajat Patidar, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (captain/wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar.
Test: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Mohammed Shami*, Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Prasidh Krishna.