Speaking on Star Sports, Manjrekar underscored the need for Kohli to prove himself a superior choice compared to the emerging talents, particularly against the competition posed by Hardik Pandya.
“Virat Kohli will have to show that he is a better option than the youngsters who are playing currently, and Rohit Sharma as T20 batter and captain vs Hardik Pandya, the T20 batter, all-rounder and captain,” Manjrekar commented on the potential selection dilemma.
The former cricketer’s remarks come during Kohli’s break from limited-overs cricket following India’s defeat to Australia in the ODI World Cup final, where Kohli emerged as the tournament’s top run-scorer.
As the debate on Kohli’s role in the T20 format intensifies, Manjrekar stressed the importance of selecting the squad based on current form rather than reputation, advocating for a straightforward approach.
“Who knows what’s in store in life? I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I believe the approach should be extremely simple. Pick your team based on form close to the World Cup,” Manjrekar stated, urging the team management to prioritise performance over established reputations.
Looking ahead to the 2024 T20 World Cup, Manjrekar acknowledged the competitive landscape and suggested that India’s team management should focus on playing more 20-over matches to optimise their preparation for the global tournament.
The ‘Men In Blue’ clinched a 4-1 victory in the T20I series against Australia in Bengaluru. Shreyas Iyer‘s impactful innings of 53 runs from 37 balls, coupled with an all-round performance by Axar Patel (31 off 21 balls), played pivotal roles in India posting a total of 160. Despite a spirited Australian chase, Arshdeep’s outstanding last-over efforts secured a narrow win for the hosts.
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(With inputs from ANI)