Hardik Pandya’s leadership of the Indian cricket squad appears to have signaled a new beginning in the T20 format. Many fans and industry insiders are beginning to question whether veterans like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma would be able to rejoin the national squad in the shortest format as young players are being given more opportunities. The pair still has a lot of cricket left in them, even for the T20 format, according to retired Indian cricketer and former head selector Dilip Vengsakar.
Vengsarkar, who has previously served as the selection committee’s chairman, believes that despite the recent rise of skilled young players, Kohli and Rohit will both rejoin India’s T20 squad. “Both are great players. Over the years they have won many matches. There is still a lot of cricket in them. They will be back (in the T20s).
“Regarding Tests, they are an integral part of the Indian team. I am a huge fan of both. They are still in great shape physically and mentally (even though both are in their mid-30s). I always believe as a selector that form and fitness are important. Age is no criterion in cricket. Virat Kohli is supremely fit. I still believe they will play in all formats of the game,” said Vengsarkar at the Meet the Media program organized by the Mumbai Press Club.
Vengsarkar also batted for the selection of young Jammu & Kashmir pacer Umran Malik into India’s Test team. “Yes, you have to look at the future and groom players as well and at the right time. If I was a selector I would have picked (young Jammu and Kashmir fast bowler) Umran Malik for the Bangladesh Test series. The pace is very important and he can unsettle batsmen with his pace. We don’t have many who can bowl in the 150s (KMPHs). This guy will play havoc when we visit England, Australia, or the West Indies,” he said.