India’s ODI captain, Rohit Sharma, announced on January 9th that he plans to continue playing T20Is for the national team, but with a focus on workload management in the lead-up to the ODI World Cup. He was not picked for the T20I series against Sri Lanka earlier in January, alongside other senior players like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. However, Rohit is back to lead the team in the upcoming 3-match ODI series starting on January 10th in Guwahati.
There was speculation that all-rounder Hardik Pandya would become India’s full-time T20I captain, as he had led the team in Rohit’s absence during the T20I series against Sri Lanka. Rohit clarified that Hardik was only captaining in his stead and that he still wants to be a part of the T20I team in the future. Rohit had missed the T20I series and the Test series in Bangladesh due to a finger injury he sustained during the ODI series in December.
Rohit emphasized the importance of managing player workloads in a World Cup year, where some players may not be able to participate in all formats due to the packed schedule. He added that the team’s focus is currently on the ODIs and Tests, and that decisions about the T20I team will be made after the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. He also played down talks of any changes in captaincy for white-ball cricket, stating that the team is currently focused on the 2023 World Cup and the World Test Championship.
Hardik Pandya was named as the T20I captain for the series against Sri Lanka and was also appointed as the ODI vice-captain, as the BCCI is reportedly considering him for the role of white-ball captain in the future. However, Rohit stated that it’s too early to say and that everyone’s focus is on the World Cup and World Test Championship for now, and the captaincy for the future will be decided later.