Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has backed both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to feature in the 2024 T20 World Cup, which will be played in the West Indies and United States from June 4 to 30. Making a huge statement, he added that Rohit should be picked as captain for the ICC event and not just as a batter.
Rohit and Kohli have not played any T20 cricket for India since the Men in Blue’s 10-wicket loss in the 2022 T20 World Cup semi-finals to England in Adelaide. All-rounder Hardik Pandya has led the T20I squad a number of times post the World Cup, hinting at changing of the guard in the format.
In an interaction with Sportskeeda, though, Gambhir opined that Rohit and Kohli must not only play the T20 World Cup, but the Hitman should also lead the Men in Blue.
“Absolutely, both [Kohli and Rohit] need to be picked, both should be picked. And, more importantly, I want to see Rohit Sharma captain in the T20 World Cup. Yes, Hardik Pandya has captained in T20Is, but I still want to see Rohit Sharma captain in the T20 World Cup,” he commented.
Hailing Rohit as a phenomenal leader, Gambhir referred to his performance in the recently concluded ODI World Cup and added:
“In this World Cup, he has showed that with his batting. If Rohit Sharma is picked, Virat Kohli will automatically get picked. If Rohit Sharma decides to play the T20 World Cup, he should be selected as a captain and not just as a batter.”
Kohli and Rohit were the top two leading run-getters in the 2023 ODI World Cup. Kohli scored 765 runs in 11 innings at an average of 95.62 and a strike rate of 90.32. As for Rohit, he smashed 597 at an average of 54.27 and a strike rate of 125.95, getting the team off to some flying starts.
“Saare young bachche nahi rakh sakte aap” – Wasim Akram backs Kohli, Rohit for 2024 T20 World Cup
Like Gambhir, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram also backed Kohli and Rohit to be part of India’s 2024 T20 World Cup squad. Akram believed that the two senior players would be key members of the team and added that the side cannot bank completely on youngsters.
“The T20 World Cup is happening within six months. I’ll pick both of them. They will be the main players for India – Virat and the skipper Rohit Sharma, no doubt about it. You need a bit of experience in T20. Saare young bachche nahi rakh sakte aap [You cannot pick only youngsters],” Akram commented.
Incidentally, Kohli and Rohit are the top two leading run-getters in T20Is. The former has 4008 runs from 115 matches, while the latter has 3853 runs to his name in 148 games.