Abd and kohli
AB de Villiers backed India's decision to include Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the T20I squad. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

New Delhi: Former South Africa star batter AB de Villiers backed India's decision to include Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the T20I squad for the Afghanistan series.

The mainstay batters made a comeback to India's T20I setup for the first time since the end of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022. Their inclusion comes as a major development for the Men in Blue ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup.

De Villiers talked about the inclusion of experienced batters in the T20 setup and he sees their presence as a need for India to win the World Cup.

"I understand (criticism on the selection of Rohit and Kohli), but at the end of the day, it is a cricket World Cup. If Virat Kohli is good enough, he has to play. I don't care whether he is managing his career a little bit because he is a touch older. But 20-year-olds will understand that the legendary Rohit and Virat are needed to help India win the T20 World Cup. I wish I had that management when I was 35, de Villiers said on his official YouTube channel.

"I think India have shown their intent by adding Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to their T20I squad. They're clearly thinking about the T20 World Cup," de Villiers further added.

Rohit will lead the Indian squad in T20Is against Afghanistan beginning on Thursday, with Jitesh Sharma and Sanju Samson taking up the wicketkeeper duties.

There are several all-rounders on the team, including Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, and Axar Patel. Ravi Bishnoi and Kuldeep Yadav will be the leg spinners, with Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, and Mukesh Kumar handling the pace.

The other batters on the team are Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Tilak Varma.

Suryakumar Yadav, who led India in the T20Is in South Africa last December, missed out on the squad as he injured his ankle while fielding in the third and final match in Johannesburg. He recently had ankle surgery and is scheduled to return to training in a few months.

India's Squad for three T20Is against Afghanistan: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan and Mukesh Kumar.