As the India Cricket Team prepares for its last away tour in 2023, the focus shifts to the T20 World Cup 2024. The India Tour of South Africa (IND vs SA) commences on December 10 with a three-match T20 series, followed by 3 ODIs and ends with 2 test matches.
The tour of South Africa in 2023 brings forth a myriad of decisions for the selection committee from the delicate balance between white-ball and red-ball formats, the return of star players to the strategic management of player workload
The selection committee, led by Ajit Agarkar, faces a crucial decision on whether to include Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli in the T20I squad. The choices made will significantly impact the team dynamics in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup 2024.
The selection committee plans to announce the squads for both white-ball series simultaneously. However, the announcement of the Test squad is deferred until the conclusion of the India A series, adding further anticipation to the selection process.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are set to return for the two-match Test series starting December 26. The selection committee's decisions on the India A squad for the red-ball tour are crucial for shaping the Test squad. With ODIs not in immediate focus, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma might enjoy an extended break if excluded from the T20I squad. This strategic move could allow them to rejoin the team for the Test series.
Decision on Rohit Virat's white-ball future
In consultation with Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, Ajit Agarkar will deliberate on their white-ball future. The ODI World Cup cycle is over, and the focus shifts to the new T20 World Cup cycle, prompting discussions on individual player plans.
Rohit Sharma's future in ODIs remains uncertain as the selection committee challenges aligning the team with the upcoming T20 World Cup cycle while considering Sharma's role in the 50-over format.
IND vs SA T20 Series Squad
The fitness uncertainty surrounding Hardik Pandya forces selectors to contemplate other alternatives. Suryakumar Yadav, the World No. 1 T20 batter, could be considered for a break in either the ODI or T20 series.
However, the T20 squad for the IND vs SA series is likely to mirror the one against Australia. The inclusion of rested players like Jasprit Bumrah adds depth to the squad, enhancing the team's overall strength but it is more likely that Bumrah will be rested for the white-ball series given the coming test matches against South Africa and England.
As the T20 World Cup 2024 approaches, the comeback of KL Rahul could be a point of discussion. His potential return could strengthen the batting lineup and pose him as a contender for captaincy.
However, the selection committee, in collaboration with the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will evaluate the player's workload management. With Hardik Pandya's fitness concerns, the committee's decision-making process becomes crucial.