Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Star batsman replaces Virat Kohli while India’s cricket board announces the squad for upcoming tour of New Zealand.

Rohit Sharma has been named as the new captain of India’s T20 team in place of Virat Kohli, the cricket board said after the team was kicked out of the World Cup.

The Cricket Management Board of India (BCCI) tweeted on Tuesday that the 34-year-old opening batsman was “named as the T20I captain for India” when he announced the squad for an upcoming tour of New Zealand. Co-opener KL Rahul has been named Rohit’s deputy.

Kohli, who took over the T20I captaincy in 2017, announced his decision to retire in September, citing his “tremendous workload”. He remains the captain of the one-day and Test teams.

The announcement follows news that former batting legend Rahul Dravid has replaced Ravi Shastri as coach for all formats after the World Cup, where India could not qualify for the semi-finals.

The right-handed Sharma, known for his hard shots, made his debut for the national team in 2007 and initially played limited overs cricket before being included in the Test squad in 2013.

Sharma has also led the Mumbai Indians to victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) five times. Royal Challengers Bangalore, led by Kohli, has never won the title.

Kohli was also not named in the T20 squad for the New Zealand tour to give the batsman rest. Also omitted were pass bowlers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, as well as versatile bowler Ravindra Jadeja.

The tour of New Zealand starts on November 17 with the first of three T20 matches followed by two Test matches.

The selectors made several changes to the group in the United Arab Emirates, bringing in people like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel while dropping the versatile Hardik Pandya.

The first T20 is scheduled for November 17 for Jaipur, followed by matches in Ranchi on November 19 and Kolkata on November 21.

Cricket - ICC Cricket World CupIndia’s Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant in action while England’s Jos Buttler watches during the ICC Cricket World Cup in Birmingham, UK. [Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers]

Sharma played 116 T20 international matches, scoring 3,029 runs and averaging more than 32. He scored 9,205 runs in 227 ODIs and 3,047 out of 43 Test matches at an average of nearly 47.

India have come under sharp criticism at home for their dismal performance in the T20 World Cup, including their humiliating defeat at the hands of arch-enemy Pakistan as well as New Zealand.

But Shastri said on Monday after his last game in charge after five years that the current team was “one of the great cricket teams in the history of the game”.

“We may not have won this World Cup, but I think in the future we will continue to have a strong team, because the IPL throws a lot of young players into the mix. “Rahul (Dravid) will have his own ideas on how to take this team forward,” said Shastri.

“I think in Rohit you have a very capable guy. He has won so many IPLs. He is the vice-captain of this side. He is waiting in the wings to take that job, “Shastri added.

Kohli tweeted on Monday: “We have achieved our goal together as one. “Unfortunately we shot too short and no one is more disappointed than us as a team.”

“The support of you all was fantastic and we are grateful for that. We will aim to come back stronger and put our best foot forward. ”


Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Ahv Khar, Axar Khan , Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj

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