Don't play in IPL - Rohit Sharma's coach
Rohit's childhood coach has urged the players to manage their workload. He took a dig at India's captain.

The Indian cricket team will now need to start preparing for the T20 World Cup in 2024. After a humiliating loss in the hands of eventual champions England in the semis, India will need to look hard at themselves. For the second successive year failing in the mega event, besides also going out whimpering in Asia Cup 2022, the scheme of things has come to bite India hard. 

On Saturday, BCCI sacked the Chetan Sharma-led Indian selection panel on the backdrop of the horrific show in two successive major events. India have dominated bilateral series of late, but mega tourneys are hurting the cause. 

Regular skipper Rohit Sharma needs to look at himself and pave the way for other upcoming players in the side. Rohit, who will turn 36 years old in another five months, should not be featured in India’s plans for the 2024 World Cup. Yes, he may lead the side in ODIs, given the World Cup is at home in 2023 and the longer format, as India still have a chance of making it to the World Test Championship final in 2023. 

However, in the shortest format, India now need to move on for Rohit. Here we analyze the situation.

A dismal World Cup for Rohit

Rohit had a dismal World Cup in Australia, which hurt India’s cause. India struggled in the powerplay overs, and more than not, they kept losing one of their openers all the time. Rohit’s scores in the World Cup read as 4, 53, 15, 2, 15, and 27. Overall, he managed 116 runs across six innings at 19.33. His only fifty came against the Netherlands. More importantly, Rohit faltered in the semi-final, and his counterpart Jos Buttler (80*), was braver in his approach.

Rohit has had his run

Rohit has been a terrific ambassador of the shortest format. He is the second-highest scorer in men’s internationals, having amassed 3853 runs at 31.32. His tally included four tons and 29 fifties. Rohit has a strike rate of 139.24. Rohit has entertained fans for a long time with his breathtaking shots and durability. He has featured in 148 matches. Every good thing comes to an end, and that’s the case with Rohit, perhaps.

Not quite impactful in 2022

In 29 matches in 2022, Rohit has 18 innings with scores less than 25. Eight times he has scored below 10 runs. And to top that, he managed just 3 fifties, with his best score of 72 coming versus Sri Lanka. Bowlers have found a way to get him out early, and more often, Rohit has been guilty of poor shot-making. 

India have options at the top

KL Rahul remains a decent option for India to open the innings in the 20-over format. With 2262 runs, he is India’s 3rd-highest run-scorer in the format. Rahul will be backed by the management, and now a question comes who should open alongside him. Prithvi Shaw has done remarkably well of late across formats, and his aggression can help India score quickly in the powerplay overs. With a strike rate of 151.67 in the shortest format, Shaw comes as a serious option. 

Ishan Kishan is another option for India, and with continuous backing, he can set up a nice left-hand and right-hand combination alongside Rahul. Another player who comes to mind is Shubman Gill, who is a class act. His sensible nature can allow the other opener to play the big shots. Lastly, Rishabh Pant isn’t an ideal choice, and the experimentation with him opening will only last for a while.

What about the captaincy?

Reports indicate that the Indian management will be keen for split captaincy across formats. And that’s where Hardik Pandya settles in well in the shortest format as captain. His stocks rose after leading Gujarat to the IPL 2022 title. And now, he is leading India versus New Zealand in the ongoing series. If Pandya can remain fit, he can be backed as a regular skipper, and by gauging his performance, a decision becomes easier. With the IPL 2023 to come, if Pandya can help Gujarat do well again, his stock will rise further.

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