Rohit Sharma has been named the new captain of India’s T20 side, replacing Virat Kohli, the cricket board said after the side were dumped out of the World Cup.
The Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) on Tuesday tweeted that the 34-year-old opening batsman was “named the T20I Captain for India” as it announced the squad for an upcoming tour by New Zealand. Fellow opener KL Rahul has been named Rohit’s deputy.
Rohit Sharma has been named India’s new T20I captain as the BCCI on Tuesday announced a 16-member squad that will play three T20Is against New Zealand starting later this month. However, the team will be without the likes of stars Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja, who have been rested for the T20Is.
KL Rahul has been appointed as vice-captain of the team, which also marks maiden international call-ups for IPL sensations Venkatesh Iyer and Harshal Patel. Iyer represented Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2021, scoring 370 runs at an average of 41.11 with four half-centuries and grabbing three wickets, playing a crucial role in the two-time champions reaching the final.
Harshal, representing the Royal Challengers Bangalore, emerged as the leading wicket-taker with 32 wickets, the joint-highest in a single edition of the IPL, including a hat-trick against five-time champions Mumbai Indians.
Kohli, who took over T20I captaincy in 2017, had announced his decision to step down in September, citing his “immense workload”. He remains the skipper of the one-day and Test teams.
Virat Kohli had announced his decision to quit T20 captaincy before the World Cup. On Monday, Kohli hinted that Sharma would succeed him as Team India captain. Ahead of India’s final T20 World Cup match against Namibia in Dubai, he said Rohit has been “overlooking things for a while now” and Indian cricket is in good hands.
“I’ve been immensely proud of how the team has played. Now I think it’s time for the next lot to stake this team forward. Obviously Rohit is here and he’s overlooking things for a while now,” Kohli said.
“It’s been an honour for me, I was given the opportunity and I tried to do my best. But it’s also time to create some space and move forward,” he added.
After India defeated Namibia by nine wickets in their final match, Virat Kohli on Monday said that it was the right time for him to relinquish T20 International captaincy so as to manage his workload.
The announcement follows news that former batting legend Rahul Dravid was replacing Ravi Shastri as coach for all formats following the World Cup, where India failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
The right-handed Sharma, known for his hard hitting, made his debut in 2007 for the national team, initially playing limited overs cricket before being included in the Test team in 2013.
Sharma also captained the Mumbai Indians to victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) five times. Royal Challengers Bangalore, led by Kohli, have never won the title.
Kohli was also not named in the T20 squad for the New Zealand tour to give the batsman time to rest. Also left out were pace bowlers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, as well as bowling all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
The tour by New Zealand begins on November 17 with the first of three T20 games followed by two Test matches.
The selectors have made several changes to the squad featured in the United Arab Emirates, bringing in the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel while dropping all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
The first T20 is scheduled for Jaipur on November 17, followed by games in Ranchi on November 19 and Kolkata on November 21.
India’s T20I squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (Vice-Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj