Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma was missing from their lineup for the opening match of the IPL 2021’s second leg against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), as Kieron Pollard walked out for the toss. Former India opener Sunil Gavaskar called Rohit Sharma’s absence a huge blow for the defending champions.
Rohit Sharma’s fitness was always a concern ever since he was hit on his knee during his innings in the fourth Test between England and India at the Oval. He did not take the field for the fourth innings of the Test match which India won by 157 runs and went 2-1 up in the series, which is still undetermined as the fifth Test of the series was called off as Indians refused to take the field in Manchester due to COVID concerns.
That’s The Worrying Thing. Rohit Sharma’s Body Language Doesn’t Look Good: Sunil Gavaskar
Legendary India batsman Sunil Gavaskar showed concern for Rohit Sharma during the pre-match show on Star Sports, after watching the preparations of the Mumbai Indians ahead of their match against Chennai Super Kings.
“That’s the worrying thing (his pre-game warm-up) because what we have seen over the last 20 minutes or so, he has been put through his paces by the physio. Is that some sort of a fitness test? Because he has been pretty ginger when he’s running and during that fitness test as well.
It may not be a fitness but it certainly looks like a fitness test to me. So, it will be important to see whether he is going to be fit or not. If he is not fit, if he is not playing, that’s going to be a huge blog (for MI). The body language does not look good to me,” Gavaskar said.
He Doesn’t At All (Look Fit): Kevin Pietersen On Rohit Sharma
Not only was Gavaskar worried for Rohit Sharma, former England captain Kevin Pietersen also looked a tad disappointed and apprehensive about the MI captain’s fitness issues. He further pointed out that five-time champions Mumbai Indians do not start well and with their captain missing, it will be a further blow to the team’s chances.
“He doesn’t at all (look fit). The pictures we saw of him skipping slowly indicate as if he’s got some issue with his calves or potentially his hamstrings. Mumbai need Rohit Sharma. They have to have him in this game, starting off again. Mumbai do not start well. They cannot afford to have their captain not playing,” said Pietersen.
CSK captain MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat first. For MI, Anmolpreet Singh made his debut and will play in place of Rohit Sharma.