Published On: Sun, Jan 7th, 2024

Rohit, Virat return to T20I squad for Afghanistan series

New Delhi: Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli returned to T20I cricket for the first time since November 2022 as the Indian cricket board (BCCI) senior selection committee announced the squad for a 3-match T20I series against Afghanistan, starting January 11.

The senior selection committee met in Mumbai on Sunday to pick the team

The series will see India face Afghanistan starting on January 11, 2024, at Mohali, followed by games on January 14 in Indore and January 17 in Bengaluru and it will be India’s last T20I assignment before the T20 World Cup in June.

Rohit Sharma (C), S Gill, Y Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, W Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar.

The senior selection committee met in Mumbai on Sunday to pick the team. The 16-member squad has a good mix of youth and experience. Senior pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj have not been picked, keeping in mind the 5-Test series against England that will start at the end of the month.

Both Kohli and Sharma have not played a T20I since their last appearance in the semi-final of the 2022 T20 World Cup, where India lost to England. In 2023, with the ODI World Cup taking precedence, Rohit and Kohli directed their attention toward the 50-over format.

Despite expectations for their comeback in T20Is during the South Africa tour, they chose to extend their break. This decision sparked discussions about their potential availability for the 2024 T20 World Cup.

However, two key players, Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav, will miss the three-match series due to injuries. Pandya has been out of action since the ODI World Cup in 2023, and Yadav sustained an injury during the tour of South Africa, with his return expected only in the following month.

The pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj have also been rested after their extensive involvement in the recent Test series against South Africa.

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