T20 World Cup final could be Rohit and Kohli’s last international match in this format

No Indian cricket fan would want to see captain Rohit Sharma and former captain Virat Kohli hiding tears after the T20 World Cup final in Barbados on Saturday, just like they did after the ODI World Cup final seven months and 10 days ago. Fans would certainly want both the greats to have a memorable farewell in the shortest format of the game.

There is a high possibility that this will be the last T20 match for both of them in the Indian team jersey. Indian cricket experts believe that BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) officials and national selectors will not give Rohit and the trio of Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja any more chances in this format. In such a situation, next month’s Zimbabwe series will definitely mark the beginning of a new dawn keeping in mind the 2026 T20 World Cup in India.

The core team needs to be finalised at least two years in advance to prepare for any global trophy and when India hosts the T20 World Cup in 2026, Rohit at the age of 39, Kohli at the age of 38 and even Jadeja are unlikely to be fit for the format. There is no talk of retirement in the cricket world before the final match but it is believed that if India beat South Africa in Barbados on Saturday, then captain Rohit and Kohli will have nothing left to achieve in this format.

It is also possible that the retirement may not be announced immediately and these players will continue to be a part of the IPL. Rohit and Kohli are still the two biggest brands of the IPL apart from Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Shahrukh Khan (actor and owner of Kolkata Knight Riders). Kohli would like to join the list of players with this title who will have the name of the winner of all three ICC limited overs titles in front of their name. He has been an important member of the Indian teams that won the ODI in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013.

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara decided to bid adieu to the shortest format of the game soon after India defeated them in the 2014 T20 World Cup final. No one knows if the two great Indian players will do the same. Kohli and Rohit have 8334 runs, six centuries and 69 half-centuries in T20 Internationals, besides 119 catches. Both players are deserving of the title.

Both have been World Cup winners but those victories were in the name of (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh. This T20 World Cup trophy will truly be theirs (Rohit and Kohli). Had the Indian team won the ODI World Cup last November, Rohit might not have been so desperate and ready to give everything to play in the T20 World Cup. As far as global victory in the white ball format is concerned, he wants some kind of memorable ending. A T20 World Cup win can give him that.

Rohit enjoys the same popularity in the team as Dhoni did. His bonding and communication with the team players is very natural. Dhoni was ‘Mahi bhai’ for the junior players, while Kohli gained popularity with his performance on the field. But Rohit is liked by the junior players as well as his counterparts. He communicates openly with his teammates and also tells them the reason for not being selected in the team or playing eleven.

Ravichandran Ashwin choked up while telling that when his mother’s health deteriorated in the middle of the Test match, captain Rohit had asked a team physio to accompany him to Chennai. Ashwin was the team’s main spinner in that match. The most positive thing with Rohit and Kohli is that both have nothing to prove. If Saturday indeed turns out to be their last T20 International, then it will be difficult to fill their void not only skillfully but also emotionally.

Disclaimer: CricketInFocus has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.

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