Kohli and Rohit return to India’s T20I squad for Afghanistan series

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NewsSanju Samson returns as well, while Shreyas was rested and Rahul not selected

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are in line to be at the forefront of another World Cup campaign for India  •  AFP/Getty Images

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have returned to India’s T20I squad after an absence of more than a year from the format for the three-match series against Afghanistan, India’s last T20I series before the T20 World Cup in June.

Rohit and Kohli have not played T20Is since India’s semi-final defeat to England in the T20 World Cup in November 2022, choosing to prioritise Test cricket and ODIs in the lead-up to the World Test Championship final and the ODI World Cup in 2023. Their selection now, which comes after India’s chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar flew to South Africa during the New Year’s Test in Cape Town, means that both players are back in India’s plans for the upcoming T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA.

India have mostly been led by Hardik in T20Is since the 2022 T20 World Cup, and Suryakumar stood in as captain after Hardik injured his ankle during the 2023 ODI World Cup. Suryakumar led India in the five-match T20I series at home against Australia and the three T20Is in South Africa in December but has also been ruled out for a couple of months because of an ankle injury he picked up in South Africa. Both Hardik and Suryakumar are expected to return for the IPL in March.

Following the three T20Is against Afghanistan on January 11, 14 and 17, India go into a five-Test home series against England beginning on January 25, after which the players will disperse to join their respective IPL teams for the 2024 season, which will conclude only a couple of weeks before the T20 World Cup begins on June 1.

India’s T20I squad for series vs Afghanistan

Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar

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