MUMBAI: Rohit Sharma’s request to the BCCI for a break from white-ball cricket in South Africa despite being offered T20 captaincy has been accepted, while Jasprit Bumrah has been named his deputy for the two Tests starting December 26. Virat Kohli’s request for a break from limited-overs games too has been accepted as Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul will lead the national team in T20Is and ODIs respectively. However, it is understood that Hardik Pandya is no longer an automatic choice for T20 captaincy in the T20 World Cup next year if Rohit decides to play the shortest format.
“Rohit has been offered T20 captaincy but he is in UK on a holiday and wants an extended break after four months of gruelling season till end of the World Cup. But as captain, he has the highest respect for the dressing room and if he agrees to lead India in T20 World Cup, he will lead,” a BCCI source told PTI on condition of anonymity.
After the T20 World Cup in 2022, Rohit had actually been reluctant to play the shortest format as he focused on 50-over cricket.
Interestingly, most of the players selected for ODIs don’t feature either in Tests or T20Is.
Only three players have been selected in all three squads – Shreyas Iyer, Mukesh Kumar and Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Axar Patel has been dropped from the T20 squad and Ravindra Jadeja is the new T20 vice-captain for the series.
The national selection committee, on expected lines, has not included Kona Bharat in the Test squad as KL Rahul will now don the big gloves in the Test matches.
Rahul as keeper also opens two middle-order slots — for Shreyas Iyer and reserve batter Gaikwad — in the Test lineup.
It is understood that Mohammed Shami has a chance to get fit before the Test series starts late in December.
“Shami’s injury isn’t very serious at the moment and hence he has been kept in the squad. Prasidh Krishna has been kept as his cover just in case.
ODI is the least important format right now but looking at the 2025 Champions Trophy, a new-look squad under Rahul will play the 50-over games.
Rajat Patidar, B Sai Sudharshan and Rinku Singh, all with fantastic List A records, are in the ODI squad and will form the nucleus of the next 50-over team.
Kuldeep Yadav, who couldn’t be accommodated in the Test squad, is there in both the white-ball squads.
Yuzvendra Chahal, who missed the World Cup, is now back in the 50-over format while Ravi Bishnoi is in the T20 squad.