Image Credit: BCCI/ Twitter

Two of the greatest players in the contemporary era of cricket, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, are expected to miss the forthcoming T20 series against New Zealand. According to media reports, the team for India’s next white-ball series against New Zealand would be revealed in the next 24-28 hours by the new selection panel, which is helmed by Chetan Sharma.

Under Hardik Pandya’s leadership, the Indian cricket squad seemed to have made a fresh start in the T20 format. Team India defeated Sri Lanka in the third Twenty20 International by a wide margin to win the series 2-1 even though veteran players Rohit, Virat Kohli, and KL Rahul were absent. Many fans and industry insiders are beginning to wonder whether veterans like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will be able to rejoin the national team in the shortest format after seeing how well young players have performed in their most recent outings.

The newly formed BCCI Selection Committee faces a daunting challenge as they must decide within the next 24 hours who will represent India in the upcoming New Zealand Series. The committee will also formally decide on the status of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and a few other top players in the T20 format. The T20 futures of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R. Ashwin, and Mohd Shami will also be decided by the selectors in the meeting. India will play three ODI matches and three games of the T20 Series against New Zealand immediately following the existing ODI series against Sri Lanka. Virat and Rohit will likely miss the T20 Series, which begins on January 27th, but they will play the Kiwis in the ODI Series.

India intents to add more youngsters to the T20 squad:

The selectors and team management, according to a top BCCI official, aim to prepare a young side for the future, keeping in mind the 2026 T20 World Cup. It is believed that the board has to have something entirely different for the T20s and favors players who can keep up with the cutthroat competition.

India intends to adopt an attacking batting approach in subsequent T20 World Cups since the team’s top order failed to complete the majority of the powerplay overs. A significant portion of it also had to do with the fact that the top three players, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli, did not have the quickest starts, which was also the biggest challenge India faced during the 2022 T20 World Cup.

In light of the team’s failure at the World Cup, India intends to change this perspective and acquire a more effective batting strategy for the upcoming competitions. Pandya had stated that the striking methodology needs to be established and that the selectors have to pick the best players, who are capable to play attacking cricket.

The fact that India has so many explosive batsmen, such as Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, and Shubman Gill, makes the BCCI and the selectors poised to replace Rohit Sharma and Kohli in the T20Is. In light of how Ashwin, Rohit, and Shami performed in the major event in Australia, it is reasonable to decide to drop them, but players like Kohli and Bhuvneshwar, who have supported the team for the past 12 months, are being penalized for no fault of their own.

Jasprit Bumrah’s participation in the NZ series is another important decision the committee will take tomorrow. Bumrah is taking some time off the field to relax and get fit to join India’s training camp on February 1 for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy match against Australia. He most likely won’t participate in the ODI and T20I series against New Zealand, which officially begins on January 18.