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Few places will depend on IPL form: Ex-India selector on competition for spots ahead of T20 World Cup

Former India chief selector MSK Prasad opened up on the return of senior pros Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to the T20 side ahead of the Afghanistan series and why he considers that the IPL season could be make or break for a few players as far as selection for the T20 World Cup is concerned.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: January 10, 2024 17:57 IST
Senior pros Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli returned to
Image Source : GETTY Senior pros Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli returned to India's lineup for Afghanistan series

The return of two senior statesmen, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, has escalated the conjecture regarding the duo's participation in the T20 World Cup. While many feel that both Rohit and Kohli getting selected in the squad for the Afghanistan series might be a hint that both could be in for the T20 World Cup as well. Former India chief selector MSK Prasad believed that both were right on their part to give T20Is a miss in the ODI World Cup year and now that T20 World Cup is the main event in 2024, they were going to come back. 

Speaking to Star Sports, Prasad said, "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. They needed that kind of a break. So fortunately, they have had a healthy break and have done reasonably well, the youngsters. See, my opinion is there's absolutely no doubt that Virat and Rohit will be a part of the T20 World Cup, so they should start playing right from this series." 

With Rohit and Kohli returning, the spots of youngsters like Rinku Singh, Tilak Varma, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jitesh Sharma who have played the T20Is through the year for India, might be in doubt. And hence, Prasad stressed that the IPL form will probably be the deciding factor for a few spots. Prasad reiterated that the likes of Kohli, Rohit, Bumrah, Siraj and Hardik are a certainty but for players like Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, and even Jaiswal or Shubman Gill, IPL could be the final decision-maker.

"What if Rishabh Pant is fit? What if Ishan Kishan is ready? If we are going to pick him, what order is it? So I don't think that we need somebody at the top of the order. We needed someone in the middle order, so if Sanju throws his hat into the selection, all these things will definitely come into the picture. Somebody like Yashasvi Jaiswal or even Shubman Gill, form will definitely be a factor, he's established but still these are few places which will definitely depend on the form they will exhibit in the IPL. So it's important they keep ringing the bell so the selectors have a good headache.," Prasad added while saying that KL Rahul is also in the line if he plays well in the middle-order in the IPL.

Prasad, who was India's chief selector from 2016-2020, has been appointed by the Lucknow Super Giants as strategic consultant ahead of IPL 2024.

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