It’s time for the last away tour of the India Cricket Team in 2023. With the ODI World Cup over, the focus shifts to T20 World Cup 2024. The month-long India Tour of South Africa (IND vs SA) begins with a three-match T20 series on December 10 and before that BCCI selection committee led by Ajit Agarkar has two big decisions to take. With the India squad for South Africa tour likely to be out next week, they have to take a call on whether Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli return to T20Is in the lead-up to T20 World Cup 2024. Also, Hardik Pandya is another big doubt as he is still not fit. In his absence, Suryakumar Yadav could continue to lead the side.
“The squad will be picked in the weekend of Monday. There are a lot of things to discuss. But before Tests, we play T20s and ODIs, so squad will be around that,” a senior BCCI official told InsideSport.
Rohit-Virat white-ball future
ODIs are not in focus and that could give Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma an extended break if they are not part of the India squad for South Africa tour. In that case, both will only rejoin the squad for the Test series. Both Virat and Rohit have been out of T20I squad since the T20 World Cup last year as the focus shifted to ODIs. But that is likely to continue as the selection committee will only have six T20Is left before the T20 World Cup 2024 in June.
“I’m very sure they’ll be talking to the management. And the committee will always take their opinion, what is the future plans, what they’re thinking. Because every player, if you look at every board, what they do is they believe in one cycle. The cycle is from World Cup to World Cup. They prepare the team accordingly. With the ODI World Cup cycle over, the new T20 World Cup cycle will come up. So we’ll see what the management decides and what they talk to Rohit and Virat and what they come up with as well,” Former Pragyan Ojha, IPL Governing council member and India spinner, told Hindustan Times.
IND vs SA T20 series
With Hardik Pandya still doubtful, selectors will have to take a call on Suryakumar Yadav. The World No 1 T20 batter hasn’t had a rest and could be considered for a break from the ODI or T20 series.
The rest of the T20 squad is likely to look similar to the one against Australia. Jasprit Bumrah who is rested from the IND vs AUS T20 series could also get an extended break until the Test series.
KL Rahul is also a big name who will be up for discussion. Like Rohit and Kohli, Rahul is in a T20I exile. But with the T20 World Cup 2024 preparations on, Rahul could be given a go. And if he does come back, he could also be up for captaincy once again.
“It’s the selection committee’s call. They will be in touch with the NCA (National Cricket Academy) on players’ workload management before taking a call. Hardik is not fit at the moment,” the BCCI official told InsideSport.