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‘Rohit Sharma said we need Virat at any cost’: Kohli’s ‘T20 World Cup announcement to be made before team selection’

It was reported earlier this month that Virat Kohli might be excluded from India’s T20 World Cup squad

Earlier this month, the reports of Virat Kohli being possibly excluded from the T20 World Cup created shockwaves among the cricket fraternity. The Telegraph reported that the star India batter’s place in the World Cup squad is in doubt following the emergence of star power hitters in the Indian team. It further states that Kohli needs to produce strong performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to enter in contention for a spot in the marquee global tournament, that takes place in the USA and the West Indies in June.

India’s captain Rohit Sharma (L) and teammate Virat Kohli during 2023 World Cup(AFP)

Amid the speculation over India batting great’s spot in the shortest format, India’s former World Cup winner and cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad has made a rather strong remark on Kohli’s place in the side. Taking to his official X, formerly Twitter, account, Azad suggested that captain Rohit Sharma wants Kohli to be part of the side at any cost and that the confirmation of the latter being in the final-15 for the World Cup will be made soon.

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“If sources are to be believed, Ajit Agarkar was neither able to convince himself nor the other selectors. Jay Shah asked Rohit Sharma too, but Rohit said we need Virat Kohli at any cost. Virat Kohli will play the T20 World Cup, and its official announcement will be made before the team selection,” Azad wrote.

Kohli, like Rohit, had been away from the shortest format ever since the previous T20 World Cup in October-November 2022. His absence made way for players like Rinku Singh, Tilak Varma, and Shivam Dube in the middle order, who produced solid performances and remain in contention for a ticket to the USA-West Indies.

The star batting duo made a return to T20Is in January earlier this year when India took on Afghanistan in a three-match series. Kohli played in two matches, while Rohit, who endured a duck across the first two games, scored a solid century in the third as India clinched a 3-0 series sweep.

In Rohit’s absence, Hardik Pandya had captained the Indian team in T20Is throughout 2023.

Kohli to return in IPL

Virat Kohli landed in India on Saturday night as he gears up to join the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the 2023 Indian Premier League. He has been away from competitive action since the Afghanistan T20Is; Kohli withdrew from the Test series against England to attend the birth of his son, Akaay.


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