The Men in Blue have pushed past senior stalwarts like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Dinesh Karthik in the game’s shortest format, according to Indian head coach Rahul Dravid.
Following the humiliating loss to England in the 2022 T20 World Cup semi-final in November, India’s team selection for the current series against Sri Lanka, which included a primarily young lineup captained by Hardik Pandya, was a huge signal of a drastic overhaul in India’s T20I setup.
At the post-match conference of the second T20I against Sri Lanka in Pune on Thursday, Dravid said, “For us, obviously, from the last semi-final (in the T20 World Cup) that we played against England, only 3-4 boys are playing in the XI (against Sri Lanka). We are slightly in a different stage of looking at the next cycle of T20, so ours is a slightly younger team and for us to play against the quality of Sri Lanka is a fantastic experience. The good thing is that a lot of focus is on the ODI World Cup and World Test Championship, so the T20s allow us to try out these guys.”
Virat, Rohit, and Rahul, among others, will rejoin the team for the three-match ODI series beginning on January 10. In the 50-over format leading up to the 2023 ODI World Cup, Rohit will be the team’s captain while Virat will continue to be a key player. Rahul will have to compete hard to keep his slot in the middle order against players like Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, and Sanju Samson (when he is fit). Hardik Pandya was assigned the responsibility to support Rohit, and Rahul lost his vice-captaincy position in the format.