West Indies hard-hitting all-rounder Andre Russell reckons it will be madness if Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are not included in India’s T20 World Cup 2024 squad. The veteran duo last played in the T20I format in the 2022 T20 World Cup but haven’t been picked in the shortest format since then.
The experienced pair was rested for the ongoing five-match T20I series against Australia after the conclusion of the ODI World Cup. Furthermore, they have also been rested for the limited-overs leg against South Africa.
While Kohli has scored 4008 runs in 115 T20I matches at an average of 52.74, Rohit has amassed 3853 runs in 148 matches at an average of 30.82 and thus they have all the experience under their belt.
Rohit scored 597 runs in 11 matches of the World Cup 2023 at an average of 54.27 and a blistering strike rate of 125.95. The talisman scored three fifties and one century in the ODI showpiece.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli finished the tournament as the highest run-getter with 765 runs in 11 matches at an average of 95.62 and a strike rate of 90.32. Ergo, he was awarded Player of the tournament for his consistent performances.
“I don’t know why this is a big thing (the debate on Rohit and Virat),” Russell said in an interview with Hindustan Times. “Social media can actually get in the way of cricketers by questioning their potential. Rohit with the experience and Virat being Virat, it would be madness if India pick a team for the (T20) World Cup and they are not in them.”
“Experience in World Cups is very important,” the Jamaican continued. “You can’t send 11 young soldiers to the battlefield. You have to have experience. The young Indian players will give them a run for their money. They have been good in the chances that they have got but I think when the pressure moments come, you need big players.”
Russell hailed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma as big game players and feels the duo falls in the same category as legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
“Rohit is a big game player,” Russell continued. “Kohli loves the big stage. When a player enjoys being in such a situation, he is not nervous or tentative. I hope the board doesn’t listen to the media and decide.
“I would definitely give them this World Cup. Don’t treat big players like that. They have done so much for Indian cricket. They are right in that bracket of Sachin Tendulkar. So, it will be unfair to them. It will be madness if they are not picked.”
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will be seen in the first Test match against South Africa, which will begin on 26th December.