Washington: Indian skipper Rohit Sharma on Sunday hinted that he has still not given up on hopes of playing T20I cricket for India and is looking forward to the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, which will be jointly hosted by West Indies and the USA next year.
Rohit has not played a T20I international for India ever since Men in Blue’s ten-wicket loss to England in the semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia on November 10 last year.
In his absence, all-rounder Hardik Pandya is leading the team and a lot of young, new talents like Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Tilak Varma, Deepak Hooda have been playing as batters. Notably, Virat Kohli has not featured in T20Is for India since the World Cup exit.
In a video going viral on social media, which sees Rohit taking part in an event in the USA, Rohit admitted that he is looking forward to the top competition in short-format cricket.
“More than just going and enjoying, there is another reason to come here (in the USA). Because you know the World Cup is coming. In June, there will be the T20 World Cup (2024) happening in this part of the world. So, I am pretty sure everyone is excited. So yaa, we look forward to that,” Rohit said in the video.
Though India is under a transition phase in the T20Is, it would be difficult to write off a batter of Rohit’s records and capabilities so quickly. In 148 T20I matches, he has scored 3,853 runs at an average of 31.32 and a strike rate of 139.24. Rohit has four centuries and 29 fifties to his name, with the best score of 118. Next to Virat (4,008 runs in 115 matches at an average of 52.73 and one century and 37 fifties), he is the second-highest run-getter in the T20I format.
But Rohit’s statistics in T20Is in 2022 and in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 hurt his chances of a comeback. Last year, he played 29 T20Is, scoring 656 runs at an average of 24.29 and a strike rate of over 134, with three half-centuries and best score of 72.
High strike rate
During T20 WC 2022, he could score only 116 runs in six matches at an average of 19.33, with just one fifty and the best score of 53. His strike rate was also just 106.42, in high contrast with his hard-hitting T20 game which has seen him smash runs at a strike rate of above 130 mostly.
In IPL 2023, he scored 332 runs in 16 matches at an average of 20.75 and a strike rate of over 132. He could score only two fifties in the tournament, with the best score of 65.
But Rohit has maintained his supreme touch in Tests and ODIs this year.
In nine ODIs this year, he has scored 383 runs at an average of 47.87 and a strike rate of just above 106. He has smashed a century and two fifties, with the best score of 101.
He has also played three Tests this year, scoring 298 runs in five innings at an average of 59.60 at a strike rate of over 60. He has scored a century and two fifties, with the best score of 103.