In a gripping final held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19, 2023, India faced a heart-wrenching defeat in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. Despite triumphing in all 10 matches leading up to the final, their championship dreams were shattered. Pat Cummins’ strategic decision to bowl first on a slow and dry wicket played a pivotal role, setting the stage for a challenging battle under the scorching sun.

Bowlers adeptly exploited the conditions, making run-scoring a formidable task as the ball failed to come on to the bat. The emergence of reverse swing, combined with the old and softening ball, added an extra layer of complexity. Despite the odds, India managed to post a modest total of 240, thanks to a resilient half-century from Virat Kohli, a solid contribution from KL Rahul, and a quickfire start from Rohit Sharma.

In the second innings, India exhibited a commendable fightback, reducing Australia to 40-3. However, the game took a turn with heavy dew, and Australian batsman Travis Head played a match-winning innings of 137 runs, reminiscent of his impactful performance in the ICC World Test Championship final earlier in the year. The defeat left Indian fans and players heartbroken, with emotional scenes featuring the likes of Kohli, Rohit, and Siraj.

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With the disappointment of the ODI World Cup still fresh, the Indian cricket team now shifts its focus to the T20 World Cup 2024, scheduled in the Caribbean and the USA in June 2024. The preparation kicks off with a 5-match T20I series at home. Notably, Rohit Sharma, at 37 years old, faces questions about his white-ball future.

Gautam Gambhir Advocates for Rohit Sharma as Captain in the T20 World Cup 2024 Following their absence from T20Is after the T20 World Cup in 2022, both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have returned, with Hardik Pandya leading the team in the interim. Speculations arose about Rohit’s role, with reports suggesting discussions between him and the BCCI regarding his future. Gautam Gambhir, the former India opener, emphasized the importance of selecting both Kohli and Rohit for the T20 World Cup. Gambhir expressed a desire to see Rohit Sharma captaining the side, citing his exemplary leadership skills and recent batting form.

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Gambhir asserted, “If Rohit Sharma is picked, Virat Kohli will automatically get picked. If Rohit Sharma decides to play the T20 World Cup, he should be selected as a captain and not just as a batter.”

This endorsement highlights the confidence in Rohit’s captaincy and the dynamic duo’s synergy. Rohit Sharma’s selfless approach in the ODI World Cup 2023, where he took on the opposition bowlers in powerplays, scoring quick runs, showcased his invaluable contribution to relieving pressure on the middle order.

He added: “Absolutely, both [Kohli and Rohit] need to be picked, both should be picked. And, more importantly, I want to see Rohit Sharma captain in the T20 World Cup. Yes, Hardik Pandya has captained in T20Is, but I still want to see Rohit Sharma captain in the T20 World Cup.”

As the cricketing world anticipates the T20 World Cup 2024, the debate around Rohit Sharma’s role adds intrigue. Will the veteran continue to lead from the front, both as a player and a captain, or will the torch be passed to a new generation of players? The upcoming 5-match T20I series will likely serve as a testing ground for various strategies and potential captaincy choices.

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