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Sourav Ganguly backs Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to play in ICC T20 World Cup 2024

Published at :December 01, 2023 at 05:51 PM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:09 AM
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Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli last played a T20I in T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final against England.

Sourav Ganguly, former India captain and former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), supported skipper Rohit Sharma and star batter Virat Kohli taking a break from the white-ball phase of the South Africa tour and stated they should be in India’s T20 World Cup 2024 squad.

The BCCI said on Thursday that Kohli and Rohit will take a break from the white-ball portion of the South Africa trip, but will return to play in the red-ball format.

With only a handful of international T20I games and the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season, Kohli and Rohit have resurfaced as the focus of attention as India prepares for the T20 World Cup next year.

Rohit and Kohli last played a T20I for India in the 2022 T20 World Cup, when India lost in the semi-finals to England at the Adelaide Oval.

With the T20 World Cup in 2024 nearing, Ganguly was asked if Rohit and Kohli belonged in cricket’s shortest format. He noted that both players were in excellent form in the recently concluded 2023 ODI World Cup and the opener, and that they “absolutely fit in the T20I format.”

“They absolutely fit in the T20I format. You saw in the World Cup how well Virat Kohli has played. you saw how Rohit Sharma played in the World Cup. They are absolutely integral and an important part of Indian cricket. World Cup is different from bilateral because the pressure is different. I think they both were exceptional in this World Cup. Hopefully in 6 to 7 months down the line in the West Indies they will be against at their best,” Ganguly said in an event on Friday in Kolkata as per ANI.

Kohli scored 765 runs in 11 matches, including three centuries and six fifties, exceeding Sachin Tendulkar’s previous record of 673 runs in one CWC tournament (in 2003). He also reached the record 50th ODI ton.

They will come back fresh for Test cricket: Sourav Ganguly

Rohit Sharma, on the other side, finished the 2023 World Cup as the second leading run-scorer with 597 runs in 11 innings, including one century and three fifties.

“Very rightfully they have taken the break because there is so much cricket all the time. I cannot imagine there was a WC final on November 19 and in three days, you are playing a T20I series against the same team. It is not easy to pick yourself up, especially with the pressure and demands of the World Cup. I am happy they got a break. They will come back fresh for Test cricket. Then there are 5 Tests against England and then IPL and World Cup. So, it is non-stop cricket. Hopefully, they will come back fresh and keep performing,” Ganguly added.

Suryakumar Yadav will captain the Indian team in South Africa T20Is with Ravindra Jadeja as his deputy. KL Rahul will captain the side in three ODIs, while Rohit and Kohli will return for the two Tests.

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