After the 2022 T20 World Cup, both Rohit and Virat Kohli missed India’s next two T20I series, away against New Zealand and at home against Sri Lanka. Rohit said it was more to manage the workload, and they might miss the upcoming home T20I series against New Zealand as well.
“It was made clear in the past that it’s a 50-over World Cup year, and for some of the guys, it’s not possible to play all formats,” Rohit said on the eve of the first ODI against Sri Lanka. “If you look at the schedule, the matches are back to back. So looking at some of the players’ workloads, we wanted to give them a break. And I also fall into that category.
“We have only six T20Is, three [against Sri Lanka] are over and we have three against New Zealand. So we will look after those boys till we get to the IPL, and see what happens after that. But certainly, I have not decided to give up the format.”
Rohit also revealed that Shubman Gill remains ahead of Ishan Kishan in the pecking order. In India’s last ODI, Kishan had scored the fastest double-hundred in the format, but in the other eight innings in his career, he has only 267 runs at an average of 33.37.
Gill, on the other hand, has been India’s highest run-getter since his comeback last year, scoring 638 runs at an average of 70.88 at a strike rate of 102.57.
“Both openers have done really well, but looking at how both have gone through, it’s fair we give Gill a chance to have a fair run, because he has got a lot of runs in the last few games,” Rohit said. “So has Ishan, I am not taking anything away from him. He has been wonderful for us. He got a double-hundred and I know what it takes to get a double-hundred; it’s a great achievement.
“But to be honest and just to be fair to the guys who have done really well before that, we need to give those guys enough chances before we make that call.
“It’s unfortunate we won’t be able to play Ishan but looking at how things have panned out for us in the last eight-nine months, and looking at how ODIs have gone for us, it’s fair to give Gill that run. He has done extremely well in that position. It’s very unfortunate for Ishan but that doesn’t rule him out. We are going to try to keep everyone in the mix and see how it pans out for us as we play more games.”
For the same reason, Suryakumar Yadav, despite his sparkling T20I form, will also have to wait for a longer run in ODIs. Meanwhile, in Kishan’s absence, KL Rahul will keep wickets on Tuesday.
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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