The Indian cricket team, right now, has the right kind of headache. The fact that the selectors can field two or even three squads at once is a testament to the kind of depth and reserves the country boasts of.
Although the team is making massive strides every match, the fact remains that the transition period isn’t far as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are clearly towards the end of their careers, at least in the limited-overs set-up. Don’t be surprised if their journey from the 2023 ODI World Cup to the 2024 T20 World Cup turns out to be their last dance, their swansong.
Their impending retirement from the game warrants a question – Is Team India ready for a life without Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. From the looks of it, the team has plenty of options, as Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson and probably many more are raring to get hold of the brass ring and take it to places it has never been.
However, what Rohit and Virat bring to the table is far more than batsmanship. It’s their leadership and experience that make them invaluable. The batters mentioned above have all the qualities to be world beaters, to be the next big thing in Indian cricket, and when the time finally comes, they will be. It has always been the case. Sachin Tendulkar took on the baton from Sunil Gavaskar, and Virat and Rohit took it from the master blaster.
When these two finally ride into the sunset, the vacuum created would be of a level not seen before. The only thing would be the way they’ll be treated when they finally hang their boots. The number of trolls, criticism, and hate these two have faced for some time now has been on a whole other level. Everyone is replaceable. The Kishans, the Gaikwads, and the Shaws will take care of cricket. But, there is a greater story at play here. A story greater than cricket.
Team India may be ready for life after Kohli and Rohit, but their treatment towards the fag end of their careers will govern the future of Indian cricket, and fans, as they have always been, will be at the centre of it all.