SL vs IND: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli to skip upcoming ODIs, Hardik Pandya or KL Rahul to lead Team India

Jul 9, 2024

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Indian cricket fans will have to wait a little longer to see the blockbuster return of batting icons Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, as the duo is set to be rested for the upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Hectic schedule and need for rest

Rohit and Kohli have been actively participating in every India assignment since the South Africa Test series in December-January, including the Afghanistan T20Is, the England Test series, the IPL, and the recently-concluded T20 World Cup. This hectic schedule has taken a toll, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to give the veteran players a much-needed break before the team’s packed international calendar.

Upcoming international assignments

India have a demanding schedule in the coming months, starting with a two-match Test series against Bangladesh in September. This will be followed by three Tests against New Zealand and the highly anticipated five-match Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. Considering the workload, the selectors are keen on managing the players’ workload effectively.

Champions trophy and captaincy conundrum

The ODI series against Sri Lanka, scheduled for August, is seen as unnecessary preparation for the ICC Champions Trophy, which is set to take place in mid-February. The BCCI source stated to PTI that Rohit and Kohli “don’t need to go for a week-long 3-match ODIs in Sri Lanka” and would prefer to rest.

With Rohit expected to be rested, the captaincy responsibility for the Sri Lanka ODIs is likely to fall on either all-rounder Hardik Pandya or batter KL Rahul, who recently led the ODI team in South Africa. The BCCI is yet to make an official announcement, but both Pandya and Rahul are considered frontrunners for the role.

Jasprit Bumrah also to be rested

In addition to Rohit and Kohli, India’s premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah is also expected to be rested for the Sri Lanka ODIs. The BCCI wants to ensure that the key players are well-rested and ready for the upcoming international assignments, which include the highly anticipated Border Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.

Also READ: Jasprit Bumrah gets heroic welcome after T20 World Cup champion returns home in Ahmedabad

New head coach and support staff

The Indian team will also see some changes in the coaching staff, as the BCCI is set to invite applications for the team’s support roles, including the batting, bowling, and fielding coaches. The board’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) has already interviewed two candidates, Gautam Gambhir and WV Raman, for the head coach position, and an official announcement is expected soon.

It is believed that the new head coach, likely to be Gambhir, will be given a free hand in selecting the support staff, as the BCCI aims to build strong and cohesive team management ahead of the busy international calendar.

Also READ: Rahul Dravid bids farewell to Indian cricket team’s coaching role

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