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Explained: Why Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma aren’t in India’s white-ball squads to face South Africa

Sarah Waris by Sarah Waris
@swaris16 3 minute read

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have not been picked in India’s white-ball squads for the tour of South Africa, raising further questions over their future in the two formats.

According to the BCCI, Rohit and Kohli requested a break from the white-ball leg of the tour, and hence, were not considered for selection. They have both been picked for the two-match Test series, to be played on December 26 and January 3 in Centurion and Cape Town.

Rohit will lead the Test side.

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Neither Rohit or Kohli has played a T20I in 2023, and their future in the shortest format is unclear. Rohit was reportedly set to lead the T20I side against the Proteas after his recent powerplay surge in the ODI World Cup. The opener has not played a T20 International since India’s semi-final exit in the World Cup last year, where India’s lack of intent was criticised.

Though Rohit is still officially India’s T20I captain, Hardik Pandya has led the side in his absence, but the all-rounder’s ankle injury has ruled him out of the South Africa series. Suryakumar Yadav will captain instead.

Both stalwarts have also decided to skip the ODI series that will follow the T20Is. It will be India’s first ODIs since the World Cup final. KL Rahul will captain in ODIs, with several of India’s Test players not selected for that series, which clashes with their red-ball prep.

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