A turning point in Indian cricket has already begun. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are unlikely to play T20 cricket regularly and their future in ODI cricket will look the same after the World Cup at home this year. Both Rohit and Kohli have been pillars of Indian cricket for a decade or so. As far as limited overs cricket is concerned they are still among the top 10 batsmen in world cricket but a lot has changed in the past few years. There is a pool of talent waiting for an opportunity at this stalwart bat that is not playing as regularly as it used to be. Thus, India’s 1983 World Cup winning captain, Kapil Dev, said India would be better off not pinning their World Cup hopes solely on Kohli and Rohit.
“Winning the World Cup will require some difficult decisions to be made by the manager, starters and team management. Personal interests will be put in the background and you will have to think about the team. Aap Virat pe, Rohit pe ya 2-3 players pe bharosa karenge ki wo hume World Cup jeetayenge toh aisa kabhi bhi nahi ho sakta (If you think Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and 2-3 players will win the World Cup, that will never happen). Do we have a team like that? Sure. Do we have specific match winners? Yes, sure! We have players who can win the World Cup,” Kapil told ABP News.
Officially the current All Forms captain for India, Rohit has not scored a century in ODI cricket in over two years. Meanwhile, Kohli ended his 36-month wait for his ODI century in the third match against Bangladesh last month.
Kapil said Rohit and Kohli did their job. Now is the time for the youngsters to step up and move the team forward.
“There are always a few players who are the pillars of the team. The team revolves around them but we have to break that down and create at least 5-6 players. Rely on Virat and Rohit. .Young people will need to come forward and say, ‘This is our time’,” said the legendary all-rounder.
At the end of this year’s World Cup at home, Rohit will be close to 37 and Kohli will have just entered 36. Kapil said the two legends will have a huge undertaking if they are to play in the next ODI World Cup.
“The most positive thing is that the World Cup is being held in India. No one knows the situation better than we do. Over the past 8-10 years, Rohit and Virat have been the two most important cricketers in India. Many people ask The question is whether this will be the last World Cup for Virat and Rohit. I believe they can play but they will have to work really hard. Fitness will play a key role. A lot of young people are coming up. They will compete. “Can I? There are question marks, but it depends on how you play. There is no lack of ability.”
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will return to India’s side for the three match ODI series against Sri Lanka starting on 10 January.