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“If they want to play…” Ashish Nehra opens up on Virat, Rohit’s T20I future

Speaking on JioCinema ahead of India's first T20I against Australia, the 44-year-old said scoring runs is more important than age.

By Newsd
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Former Indian pacer Ashish Nehra has said that senior players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli need to compete with the youngsters to make a place in the upcoming 20-over World Cup. Speaking on JioCinema ahead of India’s first T20I against Australia, the 44-year-old said scoring runs is more important than age.

He added that youngsters need to prove themselves to make their place in the ‘Men in Blue’ squad in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

“Age is no criterion. What matters is how many runs you are scoring. We spoke about Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Shubman Gill… but if Rohit Sharma wants to play, they have to compete with him. Here is a 36-year-old super-fit, fearless guy. When we talk about Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma, again — World Cup is very far — if they want to play and they are scoring runs, youngsters will have to beat them to make a place in the XI,” Nehra said ahead of India’s first T20I encounter against Australia.

He added that the loss in the ODI World Cup 2023 should not make a difference in the upcoming T20 WC. Asked about Kohli and Rohit, he said selectors are likely to take notice of their performance.

“Loss in the ODI World Cup shouldn’t make a difference. How those two think is the most important part. Virat Kohli is scoring runs in IPL, Rohit Sharma is performing, any selector will be tempted and they will have discussions unless they announce their retirement, which I hope won’t be the case in the near future,” Nehra added. Coming to the match, after winning the toss and opting to field first, India sent back Matthew Short (13) early. However, a partnership of 130 runs between Josh Inglis (110 in 50 balls, with 11 fours and four sixes) and Steve Smith (52 off 41 balls, with eight fours) put the Aussies on course for a huge total.

A cameo from Tim David (19*) took Australia to 208/3 of their 20 overs. Prasidh Krishna (1/50) and Ravi Bishnoi (1/54) took a wicket each for India. Chasing 209, India lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (0) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (21) early, reducing the ‘Men in Blue’ to 22/2. However, a 112-run stand between Ishan Kishan (58 in 39 balls, with two fours and five sixes) and Suryakumar Yadav (80 In 42 balls, with nine fours and four sixes) brought India back into the game.

An able follow-up act by Rinku Singh (22* in 14 balls, with four boundaries) took India home despite the loss of some wickers in a flurry. Tanveer Sangha (2/47) was the pick of the bowlers for the Aussies while Matthew Short, Sean Abbott and Jason Behrendorff took a wicket each.

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