India cricket News, Hardik Pandya Celebrates With Rohit Sharma

India cricket News, Hardik Pandya Celebrates With Rohit Sharma 'Hardik should say goodbye to Rohit and Kohli respectfully': Shoaib Akhtar on Indian cricket's post-World Cup transition

Nov 25, 2023 - 03:33
Nov 25, 2023 - 04:10

'Hardik should say goodbye to Rohit and Kohli respectfully': Shoaib Akhtar on Indian cricket's post-World Cup transition
As is often the case after the ODI World Cup, Team India is set to enter a transition phase. It will take time for the fans and players to get over the heartbreak of the final but the selectors need to look to the future sooner rather than later. Head coach Rahul Dravid has decided not to continue and India captain Rohit Sharma will be 40 and Virat Kohli will be 39 by the time of the next ODI World Cup in 2027. Does BCCI think both Rohit and Kohli can be at their best? That time? There is no doubting their quality but four years may be a bridge too far to cross two stalwarts of Indian cricket. Before thinking about what might happen four years from now, the board and selectors have an immediate decision to make. Read More Cricket News

The T20 World Cup is scheduled for June next year. There is hardly any time to shift focus to the shortest format. More or less for India. Officially they do not have a head coach or captain. Yes, Hardik Pandya has been leading India in T20s for the past 12 months or so but it is still unclear whether he will be in charge of India at the World Cup in the West Indies and USA seven months later, at least not officially.

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Moreover, Rohit and Kohli will be considered? The dynamic duo have not featured in a T20 since the last edition of the World Cup in Australia in 2022. But is it because of the focus on the ODI World Cup at home? Rohit has hinted a few times in the past few months that the T20 World Cup is at the back of his mind and the way he led the team in the recently concluded 50-over edition, it's only given to him. A final crack at laying hands on the ICC trophy.

You won't get a better opener than Rohit Sharma': Akhtar

Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar feels India won't get a better opener than Rohit and both he and Kohli have a lot of cricket left in them. "If you ask what cricket is left between Rohit and Kohli? Yes, of course. Do you get a better opener than Rohit in the world right now? No, you don't," he told Zee News.

Akhtar said that if the transition phase happens at all, it should be Hardik's responsibility (assuming he takes over the captaincy) to phase them out with respect. Akhtar gave examples of how Dhoni dealt with Sachin Tendulkar or how Kohli managed Dhoni even after giving up the captaincy.

"When Dhoni comes, he respects Sachin Tendulkar. When Virat comes, he respects Dhoni. When Rohit replaces Virat, he also respects him. So, now it is up to Hardik Pandya how he wants to send off these two great players. .It is now up to him to be given his name. And he has to bid them adieu with respect. They deserve the honour. I may be putting pressure on Hardik Pandya with this but he has to give that honor to Rohit and Kohli. Because of them. In the team. He should repay the favor he received from them in the team. And they are legends of Indian cricket, so they should be given due respect before letting them go," Akhtar added.

There is another important aspect that will keep the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee on their toes. Hardik is injury-prone. Despite cotton-wrapped, carefully crafted workload management modules for a large part of the year, Hardik could not avoid an ankle injury during the ODI World Cup. While it was unfortunate - Hardik sprained his ankle while trying to field his own bowling and it could happen to anyone - the selectors will keep that in mind before naming him the official captain for the white-ball teams.

Currently, Suryakumar Yadav, India's designated vice-captain in T20Is, is leading India in the five-match T20I series against Australia. With Hardik unlikely to regain fitness in time, he may captain South Africa in the T20I starting December 10.

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