Published on: Jan 10, 2023
After Team India skipper Rohit Sharma was not picked in the T20I squad for the series against Sri Lanka, speculations were rife about his future in the format. Hardik Pandya was named captain of the T20I squad and led the team to a 2-1 triumph. Rohit had struggled in the T20 World Cup with the willow, and his captaincy also did not impress too many experts.
Having missed the T20I series, he is back to lead the team in the ODIs against the Lankans. The one-day series will kick-off with the opening game at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday, January 10. On the eve of the series, Rohit addressed a press conference in which he clarified about his future as a T20 player.
Rohit said about his absence from India’s first assignment of 2023, “Firstly, it is not possible to play back-to-back matches. You need to give them (all format players) enough break. I definitely fall in that as well. We have three T20Is against New Zealand. We will see what happens after IPL. I have not decided to give up the format.”
The 35-year-old also opened up on the confusion surrounding Jasprit Bumrah. The pace spearhead was initially left out of the ODI series, and then added to the squad. On Monday, the BCCI put up an official release and revealed that Bumrah had been ruled out.
Asked about the bizarre turn of events, the Indian captain explained, “Very unfortunate. The poor guy has been working really hard at the NCA. He felt stiffness in his back a couple of days ago and if Jasprit Bumrah is saying he is not feeling Well, you have to pull him out. We need to be extra careful with Bumrah.”
With veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan being dropped for the one-day series against Sri Lanka, Rohit will open with Shubman Gill. India have the option of Ishan Kishan as well, who smacked the fastest double hundred in ODIs in his last match in the format against Bangladesh.
Explaining the decision to go with Gill, Rohit stated, “Both openers have done really well. But looking at how both openers have gone through, it’s fair that we give Gill a chance to have a good run. Gill has got a lot of runs in the last few games, so has Ishan. I am not going to take anything away from him (Ishan).”
“He’s been wonderful for us, got a double hundred. And, I know what it takes to get a double hundred, it is a great achievement. But just to be honest and fair to the guys who have done really well before, we need to give those guys enough chances as well before we make that call,” the Indian captain added.
While the opening ODI will be played in Guwahati, the remaining two matches will be held in Kolkata and Trivandrum on January 12 and 15 respectively.
–By A Cricket Correspondent