Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

After India’s heartbreaking loss against Australia in the ODI World Cup 2023, several fans and experts were of the opinion that the Men in Blue should look beyond veteran Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli and groom young and talented cricketers for keeping an eye on T20 World Cup 2024.

Meanwhile, some of the other experts are also of the opinion that it’s not about sentiments. As per them, Rohit and Kohli should be included in the team for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Going by statistics, Kohli was the highest run-getter in ODI World Cup 2023. He has also played one of the all-time great T20 knocks by an Indian batsman. He hasn’t played another T20I since India’s semifinal exit in the 2022 World Cup, but enjoyed a prosperous Indian Premier League (IPL). The tally of 639 runs is his second-best run-haul ever, so is the strike rate that is a nudge below 140. Moreover, he has reinvigorated his T20 game with masterful strokes and looks in no mood to slow down.

On the other hand, though Rohit’s recent T20I outings have not been quite eye-catching, the freedom he displayed in the ODI World Cup is a reliable indicator of his mindset and method. 

A cricketer like him should not be valued merely through the prism of numbers in a particular format. There is no doubt that Rohit was India’s tempo-setter in the 50-over World Cup. Though a spate of openers including Sai Sudharsan have performed in recent T20Is, Rohit towers above them all. So is the case with star batsman Kohli as a top order batsman.

As per some experts, a young and dynamic-looking team might win bilateral series and give fleeting thrills. However, for the big tournaments, a team needs the big names, the past masters, inspired to make a big splash before they fade away.

Picking the veterans over young guns may seem a conservative decision. However, when the big moments come, their wisdom and experience will definitely make a telling difference in big tournaments.