Rohit and Kohli in spotlight as India aims to end title Drought at T20 World Cup

Rohit and Kohli

Rohit and Kohli in spotlight as India aims to end title Drought at T20 World Cup

Mumbai, India – Skipper Rohit Sharma and batting maestro Virat Kohli are set to lead India in what could be their final World Cup appearances as the team looks to end its title drought at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

The tournament, commencing on June 1 in the West Indies and the United States, represents a crucial opportunity for the duo to secure a major title.

Rohit, 37, and Kohli, 35, have been the cornerstone of India’s cricket aspirations for years, with the last significant triumph being the 2013 Champions Trophy. The Indian team reached the final of last year’s ODI World Cup at home but suffered a heartbreaking defeat to Australia in front of a packed stadium in Ahmedabad.

“This is the last chance for Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli,” said former India batsman Mohammad Kaif on Star Sports. “They played as if they had the cup snatched away from them. Hearts were broken and fans were devastated.”

The next T20 World Cup will take place in two years, followed by the 50-over tournament in 2027, making this event a potential swan song for the veteran players in major international tournaments.

IPL Form and Expectations
Rohit and Kohli enter the World Cup after contrasting IPL seasons. Kohli excelled, scoring 741 runs for Royal Challengers Bengaluru, while Rohit had a mixed season, tallying 417 runs for Mumbai Indians, including a notable 61-ball century.

Ajay Jadeja, another former India batsman, advocated for Kohli to open for India at the World Cup. “For me, Virat Kohli opens,” Jadeja said on Jio Cinema. “He’s the best at the top and the powerplay allows him to settle in.”

Despite his struggles, Rohit, known for his aggressive play and high-scoring capability, remains a critical player for India. He ended his last IPL league match with a rapid 28-ball fifty, though his earlier performances were inconsistent.

World Cup Challenges
Rohit and Kohli have both been integral to India’s past World Cup successes. Rohit was part of the team that won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, and Kohli was a key figure in the 2011 World Cup victory, famously carrying Sachin Tendulkar on his shoulders during the victory lap.

However, both players have faced immense pressure to deliver another title. Kohli stepped down as T20 captain in 2021 and was later removed as ODI skipper. Rohit, who has led Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles, took over but has yet to secure a World Cup trophy for India.

India’s group stage in this year’s T20 World Cup includes matches against Pakistan, Canada, the United States, and Ireland. Mohammad Kaif suggested that the team has a straightforward path to the knockout stages. “India hardly have competition in the group stage. There are only two main matches — the semi-final and the final,” he said. “Are you ready for those two days? That’s the biggest test for Rohit Sharma.”

With the spotlight on Rohit and Kohli, the Indian team and its fans are hopeful that this T20 World Cup will finally end the long wait for a major international title.