One of the most significant developments in Indian cricket is the return of Rohit Sharma to T20I cricket, marked by his inclusion in the squad for the three-match series against Afghanistan. This series is the final T20I contest before the 2024 T20 World Cup, and former Chief of Selectors MSK Prasad shared his thoughts on ensuring the best possible team faces Afghanistan.
Speaking to Star Sports, Prasad emphasized the importance of fielding the strongest team, stating, “I would definitely prefer to have the best possible team. These are the only three T20s left before we enter the IPL and get into the actual T20 format. For the injured players, I think we should have our main players participating in this T20. Afghanistan is a very competitive side, and they will do whatever possible.”
Commenting on the inclusion of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the squad, Prasad explained, “I do understand that Rohit and Virat were given a bit of rest after the South Africa tour. I think that was needed after a mega event like the ODI World Cup. Fortunately, they have had a healthy break and have done reasonably well, the youngsters.”
Addressing the question of why they didn’t play post the last T20 World Cup, Prasad clarified, “The reason they didn’t play is that we were heading towards an ODI World Cup, so we predominantly wanted to focus on ODIs. That’s the reason they offered opportunities to other youngsters who were perhaps thinking towards the T20 World Cup.”
Prasad praised the selectors and team management for their strategy, adding, “Now that we are heading towards a T20, they should be back in action.”
Regarding potential inclusions for the T20 World Cup squad, Prasad mentioned key players and highlighted the uncertainty in certain positions. He stated, “Players like Virat, Rohit, Shami, Bumrah, Siraj, Jadeja, and Hardik are certain. However, there are places where players like Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson, if KL Rahul is keeping wickets, who is your second keeper? What if Rishabh Pant is fit? What if Ishan Kishan is ready?”
Prasad acknowledged that IPL performance will play a crucial role in final squad selection, saying, “It’s important they keep ringing the bell so the selectors have a good headache.