IND vs AFG: Former selector explains why Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli were picked in Team India's squad for Afghanistan
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IND vs AFG: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decision to retain both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the T20I squad has sparked a row and put everyone in splits. While one section has appreciated the move, the other feels the team took a few steps backwards with the inclusion of the two veterans.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli haven’t played a single T20I game in the last 14 months. Their last T20I appearance came during the T20 World Cup 2022 against England in the semi-final.

Following India’s oust from the World Cup 2022, the BCCI had decided to build a fresh squad with new faces in it. A few steps were taken in that direction but the selection of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma again in India’s T20I squad for the Afghanistan series brings things back to square one.

This also indicates that the selectors are looking at them for the T20 World Cup 2024 which is just a few months away in the West Indies and the USA. The World event is set to commence on June 1 in Dallas.

While it is quite a tricky situation to understand for the fans, a former Indian selector explained the rationale behind BCCI’s move to retain both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the T20i squad.

Choosing not to reveal his identity the former selector made it clear that the selection committee is solely not entitled to make decisions around the two Indian stalwart cricketers as there is a lot of brand value attached to them.

“Decisions on Rohit and Virat can’t solely be taken by the selection committee. There is a lot at stake, broadcasters, sponsors and you can’t pick one and drop the other. Ajit and his team needed to maintain a status quo,” he said.

The captaincy option will also be available to Rohit Sharma in the T20Is after he has been retained in the shortest-format squad. All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was earlier touted to lead India in the T20 World Cup 2024, is now expected to take a back seat and act as a deputy to Rohit Sharma.

Below is India’s squad for the Afghanistan T20Is:

Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar

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For more details head to ICC’s official website.