Rohit Sharma-led India signed off from the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia on a disappointing note, getting hammered by Jos Buttler’s England in a 10-wicket semifinal defeat in Adelaide.
India put up a fighting 168/6, thanks to Hardik Pandya’s blistering 63 off 33 balls and Virat Kohli’s 50 off 40. But the Indian bowlers were sent to the cleaners by England openers Buttler (80*) and Alex Hales (86*), who went all the way to overhaul India’s total with four overs to spare.
A clinical England then defeated Pakistan by five wickets at the MCG to win their second T20 World Cup title.
The next T20 World Cup is two years away, in 2024 in the West Indies and the United States, and Panesar feels the Indian team may go through a transition phase in the shortest format during this period.
“India disappointed everyone (with the way they lost in the semifinal), and I think there are some retirements coming up,” said Panesar talking to Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
“Let’s be honest. India didn’t put up a fight in the semis. It was a completely one-sided affair. Indian bowling looked clueless in front of Buttler and Hales. You are playing the semis and you need to give a solid fight; 168 is not a small score.
“Rohit (Sharma), Dinesh Karthik and R Ashwin are the top names who could say goodbye to T20I cricket. The team management will surely have a meeting with these guys and will ask them about their plans…It’s time these players make way for young players,” Panesar said.
India captain Rohit is 35 right now and will be 37 by the time the 2024 T20 Cup arrives, and it is highly unlikely that he will be leading the side in the tournament.
“Virat is in great form. He is the fittest among all the Indian players. Age is just a number for Virat considering his super fitness. You may see him in the 2024 T20 World Cup. I am not seeing Rohit being part of that tournament, DK and Ashwin too (may not be there). There could be more players (considering T20I retirement), but these three, I think, will leave T20Is and focus on Tests and ODIs,” Panesar said.
After the semifinal defeat, Rohit was left teary-eyed and was consoled by head coach Rahul Dravid in the dugout.
Panesar, however, is confident that Rohit will take India to the 2023 ODI World Cup title at home.
“India are a dominating side at home. They won the title in 2011. I think the 2023 (ODI) World Cup belongs to India. Rohit’s main focus is now the 2023 World Cup and I am sure he will add that trophy to India’s cabinet,” Panesar signed off.