Virat Kohli shocked one and all at the toss during the first T20I when he revealed that Rohit Sharma has been rested for the first two T20Is.
The decision to rest Rohit backfired heavily as India succumbed to an embarrassing eight-wicket defeat following a colossal failure by the batting-unit barring Shreyas Iyer.
Speaking on CricBuzz Live, Ajay Jadeja criticized the move to rest Rohit Sharma, stating that no batsman wants to take rest when he is in such good form. He added that this is the exact thing that England did in the Test series for which they ended up playing heavily.
“No batsman wants to rest. This game runs on rhythm, so when you are in form, you always want to continue batting. This is exactly what England was trying to do in the Test matches. They rested their key players and the scoreline says it all,” Ajay Jadeja said on the show.
‘I don’t remember a time captain Virat Kohli has taken a break by himself’- Virender Sehwag on Rohit Sharma being rested for the first two T20Is
Virender Sehwag then proceeded to join the bandwagon, asking if the same rule applies to captain Kohli.
“It was said that Rohit Sharma will take a break in a couple of matches, but does this rule apply for Virat Kohli as well. As a captain, I don’t think he comes and says that I will take a break for the next two or three matches. I don’t remember a time captain Kohli has taken a break by himself. If the skipper is not taking a break, so how does he give others the break? That should depend on the player,” Virender Sehwag said on the show.
Sehwag said that given the form that Rohit Sharma was in during the Test series, he would have been itching to express himself in the white-ball series.
“If Rohit has played the four Tests and performed well and he is in form, so he would be waiting desperately to get back to white-ball cricket and transfer that form. In Test cricket, you don’t get the freedom to express yourself, so when the white-ball comes players generally think ‘why should I defend when I can bat freely, hit fours and sixes while entertaining myself and the crowd as well’,” Sehwag further added.
The former Indian swashbuckler went on to ask that when Rohit Sharma comes back in the side, will Virat Kohli take his fair share of rest? “So the question is whether Virat Kohli will rest himself when Rohit comebacks and plays? Whenever you feel like, you (Kohli) give a break to Rohit, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, but the same doesn’t apply to you?”
“So the question is whether Virat Kohli will rest himself when Rohit comebacks and plays? Whenever you feel like, you (Kohli) give a break to Rohit, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, but the same doesn’t apply to you?” asked Virender Sehwag.
It is pertinent to note that this isn’t the first time that senior Indian players including Virat Kohli have taken a rest during a T20I series.
During the five-match T20I series in New Zealand last year, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma benched themselves for match apiece in order to give a chance to the bench-strength. The only difference was that they had taken rest when India had already won the series, and not at the start of the five-match rubber.