Rohit Sharma opens up on his T20I future amidst doubts

India captain Rohit Sharma spoke at the pre-match press conference ahead of the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Guwahati.

Rohit Sharma is set to make his return after being on the sidelines for over a month. The India captain sustained a finger injury during the second ODI against Bangladesh on 7 December and was unavailable for the Test series against the Tigers as well as the T20I series at home against Sri Lanka.

In Rohit’s absence, Hardik Pandya led India to a 2-1 series victory against Sri Lanka. There have been question marks over Rohit’s future, both as captain and player, especially after India’s semi-final exit at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.

Putting all doubts to rest, Rohit Sharma clarified that he still has a future in T20Is.

“Firstly, it is not possible to play back-to-back matches,” said Rohit Sharma. “You need to give them (all format players) enough break. I definitely fall in that as well.

“We have three T20Is against New Zealand. We will see what happens after IPL. I have not decided to give up the format.” 

Hours before the press conference, it was confirmed that Jasprit Bumrah will be unavailable for the ODI series. Though he was not named in the ODI squad initially, BCCI later announced that Bumrah would take part in the series.

However, BCCI said in their statement that the ace pacer “will need some more time to build bowling resilience.” With a packed calendar ahead, which includes the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup at home and a possible World Test Championship Final, BCCI opted to take a precautionary measure given how important Bumrah is for the team.

Sharing the same sentiment, Rohit said that the team will be “extra careful” about Bumrah upon his return.

“Very unfortunate,” Rohit said. “The poor guy has been working really hard at the NCA. He felt stiffness in his back a couple of days ago and if Jasprit Bumrah is saying he is not feeling well, you have to pull him out.”

The ODI series marks the commencement of India’s preparation for the World Cup 2023 as India have opted to play a full-strength squad for the ODI series. With the majority of the players fit and available, Rohit also shed light on who will open with him at the start of the series.

The Indian captain confirmed that Shubman Gill will open the batting alongside him in the series, meaning the double-centurion from the Bangladesh series, Ishan Kishan, will have to either sit out or bat out of position. 


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