Rohit Sharma is undoubtedly the most successful player in IPL as captain. Rohit, who has won the trophy five times, is ready to give everything for the sixth title this time. But this time perhaps Rohit may have to think about the future of Team India apart from Mumbai Indians for the next two months. You all know that just a week after the end of the IPL, Team India has to play the final match of the WTC World Test Championship against Australia at The Oval, the historic ground in England. Rohit knows how the Indian fans, who have been yearning for an ICC World Cup since 2011, will impose a mountain of expectations on Team India just after the IPL. Perhaps this was the reason that as soon as Team India reached the WTC final on the last day of the Ahmedabad Test, Rohit said without losing a moment that after May 21, many players would be leaving for England, whose cards for the play-offs in the IPL would have been cleared. .
This very positive thinking of Rohit was unique in itself because in recent years no Indian captain had publicly adopted such a transparent stand regarding the priorities of IPL and Team India. Rohit’s priority is also easy to understand. If seen, in the last more than a decade, whether it is Test cricket or ODI or T20, Team India has always topped the series being played between the two countries. Often she has been at number 1 or number 2 position in the ranking of every format. But, where are the Indian fans going to be satisfied with this? They want an ICC trophy now at any cost. Because Mahendra Singh Dhoni had gifted Team India by winning 2 World Cups within just 4 years.
But, IPL is such a cat that it is not easy to tie a bell around its neck. Especially when the issue is how to give importance to the country’s cricket in comparison to the franchise cricket. It is a good thing that Bumrah is not playing in IPL this time, otherwise some critics target him every time for the fact that Bumrah miraculously gets fit in IPL, but when it comes to the country When it comes, it becomes unfit. Why doesn’t he get unfit during IPL? So, now even those critics have come to know that no player gives more importance to the club than the country.
After all, it is not hidden from anyone that IPL is the biggest commercial project of BCCI and it would want its best players to participate in this tournament. But, BCCI also wants that Indian cricket should spread all over the world and every time they win the World Cup. But, what to do if the players do. He has to show top game in IPL as well and also for the country. How to manage one’s own work-load is left to the players only. And this is the reason that after the defeat in the ODI series against Australia, there was softness in the statement of captain Rohit Sharma about IPL. Now Rohit said that the players are adults and are sensible themselves and they cannot say or do much on this.
In the past, IPL fatigue has resulted in T20 World Cup in 2009, T20 World Cup again in 2010 and Test series in England in 2011. In recent years, whenever Team India has toured England, whether it is a Test series or a one-off Test (as happened in the 2021 WTC final or last year’s Edgbaston Test), IPL fatigue has affected the players of Team India. Made a bad impression It is not that the players of the opposing team are not affected by the fatigue of IPL. It falls, but he does not shy away from taking bold decisions for it. Whether it is Pat Cummins or Mitchell Starc, both of them have opted out of IPL this season. Nathan Lyon is also not playing and it seems possible for Josh Hazlewood to play in a few matches at the moment. So this means that in the first week of June, when Team India takes the field in front of the Kangaroos, they will have a very energetic bowling attack in front of them.
In such a situation, can Rohit himself set an example as a captain? On the question of taking rest in some IPL matches, Rohit said in a press conference in Mumbai, “The coach will tell you about the question of rest.” On this, Mumbai Indians coach Mark Boucher looked at Rohit and said, “Do you want to take rest?” Mark Boucher said, “Rohit is the captain. We will hope that he does not take rest. Because Rohit is important as a captain and as a player. If he wants rest for one or two matches, then there is no problem in that.
If Rohit wanted, he could have clearly said that yes, definitely I will take rest in some matches. Speculations were also being made that in the absence of Rohit, Suryakumar Yadav can also captain. But, again the cat with IPL, whose neck is tied with a bell, seems to be coming to the fore. The heart of Rohit, Virat Kohli or any other big star would definitely want them to rest but the interest of the franchise also matters. Now what to do even if an Indian player does. Even if that captain is Rohit Sharma. In such a situation, an important question arises that why didn’t Team India’s coach Rahul Dravid publicly give a solid opinion on this issue? Dravid’s status is such that if he had spoken on this issue, the BCCI and the franchisees would have listened to him seriously, but perhaps the coach also realizes that there is no point in belling the IPL cat.
Former Sports Editor of News18 India Vimal Kumar has been in sports journalism for almost 2 decades. Vimal, who is active on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) as @Vimalwa, has also covered 4 Cricket World Cups and Rio Olympics.