Opinion: Indian cricket still needs Kohli-Rohit

Rishabh Pant proved that he has come a long way from being a hitter to a special player who shines on special occasions. Jasprit Bumrah seems to be occupying the space of most dependable lead bowler for India. Hardik Pandya has been raising his bar and if he becomes more consistent, he could be a medium pace bowler all-rounder alike or even better than Robin Singh, finishing innings.

But Top Order, the most experienced and fearsome batsmen in the world today, Rohit Sharma, Shikar Dhawan and Virat Kohli are failing regularly these days. KL Rahul has been knocking on the door along with Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal for the spot. In ODI Cricket, chances are these for Pant being used as an opener if Shikar Dhawan fails for some more time. Yashashvi Jaiswal, Devdutt Padikkal are waiting in the wings.

Indian Top Order has been vulnerable against left-arm pacers and this has cost the team Semi-Finals in 2019 World Cup. There have been instances even in past when a good swing and seam left hand pacer came to bowl at them in seaming conditions, top order has been troubled by the moving ball.

With Rohit Sharma crossing 35 years of age, getting injured frequently and Virat Kohli not performing to his standards from past three years, Indian seniors are asking selectors to try out new top order batsmen after Twenty20 World Cup. IPL has been giving opportunities to young players to understand the pressure to deliver at the International tournaments and playing with seniors, as helped them improve their skills too.

Still, with too many young players trying to understand how to win at important situations, India still needs Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to guide them. Rohit Sharma’s presence as a captain helped the team to play well, in ODIs. He asked Mohammad Siraj to concentrate on outswing and Mohammad Shami did not lose his place even though he had mixed tournament.

Kohli understands the pressure of chasing and building an innings both. While selectors might not really look beyond them both at the moment, Internet pressure on team about dropping these two, shouldn’t effect the selection. Till CWC 2023, India should look to keep Rohit as their captain and give Kohli the time to bounce back. If Kohli decides to play at an domestic tournament around the world, BCCI should be able to let him do it. Indian Cricket’s domination is at its peak and to continue to stay on top, India needs seniors at this hour more than upcoming exciting talents. While these talents get opportunities rarely, them sharing dressing room with the big legends, names would help them prepare themselves for future pressures.

Pant, Pandya and Bumrah came into the side with MS Dhoni, Kohli, Rohit in the side. Pandya still says that he has been helped greatly by Dhoni and Bumrah never ceases an opportunity to thank Dhoni as well. Even though Dhoni did not play at his prime, his presence helped them to today mold their careers. Hope, Kohli and Rohit presence will do the same in next two years.

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