Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli weren’t in the Indian team for 2nd ODI against West Indies© AFP
Only two months to go before the ODI World Cup 2023 begins but the Indian team management is making changes in the team that have left the fans and experts baffling. The absence of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma from the second ODI team against West Indies was a big head-scratcher. Many former Indian cricketers found little logic in the management’s decision, saying the duo has played little cricket, courtesy of their absence from India’s T20I squad. Hence, the decision to leave them out of the playing XI for the second ODI is perplexing.
Speaking on Jio Cinema, former India cricketer Aakash Chopra said that he was not pleased with the experimentation and felt the senior duo did not require rest for this match.
“I don’t know why Rohit and Virat were rested; they haven’t played a lot of cricket because if you see, after WTC final there was a break of three weeks and there was only seven days of play in the India-WI tests. After that you play one ODI and leave the next. If you want to leave the T20s aside, leave it. I mean even if you don’t play T20s this year, how is it going to affect anyone because we don’t have the T20 WC this year. Rohit and Kohli anyway, do not feature in T20Is. So, you are relaxing just with the purpose of relaxing,” he said.
Another former batter, Abhishek Nayar, also believes that the strongest team should play.
“I believe since the time you are six to eight months away from a big tournament, you should play with your strongest eleven, unless there is an injury. Play with them only because once you do that, everyone gets to know each other’s strengths and it will help you to experience playing together in different situations and learn.”
Ex-India pacer RP Singh also emphasized on each player’s role and said, “You should know your eleven as we are so close to the World Cup. At least, you should know the ten key players and keep playing them. Also, as far as batting and bowling is concerned, their role should be similar to how they are willing to use them in the World Cup. So, if Hardik is using the new ball here, they must be thinking of using him during the World Cup with the new ball too, at least for a few overs. But the question arises – Can he make an impact with the new ball? Or who are the spinners they will go with and things like that.”
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