The debate concerning Rohit Sharma’s fitness has grown strong ever since the BCCI announced the team for India’s tour of Australia 2020-21. Rohit’s name was missing from the limited-overs squad, and the apex Indian board said that he might get picked for the Test series.
Rohit was also asked to join National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangaluru to address his fitness issues. But in the latest turn of events, Indian captain Virat Kohli specified that “there is no proper communication in Rohit’s case”.
“After that (the selection meeting) he played in the IPL and we all thought he would be on that flight to Australia and we had no information on why he is not travelling with us. There has been no information, there has been lack of clarity,” Kohli had said ahead of the ODI series opener in Sydney.
“We have been playing the waiting game,” he added.
Now, former India international and Director of Cricket Operations of Mumbai Indians (MI) Zaheer Khan has responded to Kohli’s statement. The legendary left-arm pacer admitted that Rohit was not 100 per cent fit, but he was still able to do the job in IPL 2020. Zaheer backed his claim by mentioning Rohit’s knock of 70 runs in the final against Delhi Capitals.
“I think there are different variables, and the management also can look at things differently. Like if you want a certain player to play the match at what level of fitness you want him to be and what kind of role is playing. Every case is a different case, and you have to see how determined one is to play, and that’s something Rohit showed as well. I think he was a bit unavailable not maybe at the hundred per cent fitness, but he was still able to do the job and got those 70 crucial runs in that final (IPL 2020). So I think there are certain things to be looked upon for sure,” said Zaheer on Cricbuzz Live show.
Communication on Rohit’s fitness was complicated: Zaheer
The 42-year-old reckoned that any player could be fielded at 70 or 80% fitness if they are managed properly. Zaheer also observed that the communication surrounding Rohit’s fitness was complicated.
“Well, I think communication is something which has been the talking point, but what I’d like to share with the viewers is the complexities of the scenario and the situation. Also, you know when you look at different formats of the game, the requirement around the fitness is different as well. Like you’re talking about T20 game which goes on for about three and a half hours, and One Dayers goes on for about seven hours. Similarly, Test matches give 30 to 40 hours of cricket,” added Zaheer.
“So, every format requires different fitness demands. And I think in Rohit’s case the communication around that could have been simple or could have been the complex what we’ve seen so far,” remarked Zaheer.
Ahead of the ongoing Sydney ODI between India and Australia, BCCI gave an update on Rohit’s fitness and his availability for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar trophy. The Indian board said that the final call on Rohit would be taken after an assessment on December 11.
“He is presently undergoing rehabilitation at the NCA. Mr Rohit Sharma’s next assessment will be conducted on December 11th following which the BCCI will have clarity on his participation in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia,” BCCI said in a statement.