Selectors have shown faith in Hardik. Rohit Sharma has returned as captain for the Afghanistan T20Is. Hardik Pandya-less Team India will meet the visitors on Thursday.

Fresh from guiding India to a series-leveling win over South Africa, veteran opener Rohit Sharma has returned as the captain of the T20I side for the upcoming series against Afghanistan. All-format skipper Rohit is joining batting maestro Virat Kohli in Team India’s T20I squad. Rohit and Kohli recorded their last T20I appearance in the T20 World Cup semi-final against England.

Prioritising Test and One Day International (ODI) formats in the 2023 World Cup year, Rohit and Kohli rested for several T20I series. In Rohit’s absence, all-rounder Hardik Pandya has stepped in as captain the most in T20Is after the 2022 World Cup. Rohit’s deputy in the limited-overs format, Pandya, picked up an ankle injury at the ODI World Cup last year. Pandya was replaced as captain by Suryakumar Yadav for the T20I series against Australia and South Africa.

Selectors have shown faith in Hardik
Selectors have shown faith in Hardik

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Selectors’ Choice: Rohit and Kohli

Sharing his views during a discussion on Sports 18, former India wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim opined that Rohit and Kohli have received the backing of selectors to feature in India’s squad at this year’s T20 World Cup. The former national selector also pointed out that Hardik’s injury also paved the way for Rohit to return as captain ahead of the Afghanistan T20Is.

‘That’s why Rohit and Kohli have made a comeback’

“There is no doubt now. Now that you have included both of these players against Afghanistan, there has been a massive change in the selectors’ thinking. They feel they need experience for the World Cup. That’s why Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have made a comeback. There is another thing. Until now, the selectors had shown faith in Hardik Pandya as a captain but questions are being raised because of Hardik Pandya’s injury. That’s why the selectors have returned to Rohit Sharma to bring stability, both as a captain and a batter,” Karim said.

Cricket Star Hardik Pandya says that he is extremely sad
Cricket Star Hardik Pandya says that he is extremely sad

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Run-machine Kohli is the only batter to score 4,000 runs in the shortest game format. Kohli has amassed 4,008 runs for the 2007 world champions in 115 matches. He is followed by India skipper Rohit, who has 3853 runs in 140 matches. Rohit and Co. will meet Afghanistan in the T20I series opener on Thursday at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium.

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