India in these T20Is against New Zealand, without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, has ushered in a new era of the shortest format of the game where the national team continues to make forays into what life after the trio could look like.
Kohli and Sharma are India’s highest run scorers in the format and earlier coach Rahul Dravid had spoken about how giving a rest to the duo was crucial considering the ODI World Cup was on its way.
“There are certain priorities we need to give to certain white-ball tournaments. So the priority after last year’s T20 World Cup has been these six games (ODIs against Sri Lanka and New Zealand) and Virat has played all these six games and he will get a bit of a break along with Rohit,” Dravid had said.
But the idea of India possibly wanting to move on from the likes of Kohli and Sharma in the shortest format of the game has one detractor in former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif.
On his YouTube channel, Latif stated that while India could replace some players, the quality of Kohli and Sharma was hard to find in their ranks. “You might get a replacement for KL Rahul but it won’t be that easy to find replacements for seasoned players (like Kohli and Rohit). Yes, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan might take their places in the future. But these are similar players with similar experiences, playing at the same time. Can these players take you to the T20 World Cup final?
“Gill, Shaw, Tripathi, Hooda, Ishan… can these players take you to the final? In yesterday’s match (1st T20I vs NZ), there was a problem when they didn’t have a senior player. If they had a senior player, he could’ve taken them past the finishing line. So, Hardik Pandya and Rahul Dravid might have to consider bringing at least one of the two (Rohit and Kohli) if not both in the mix,” Latif added.
Kohli, Sharma return to action next month when Australia visit India for a four-match Test series.