Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has questioned the selectors' decision to rest Rohit Sharma for the limited-overs leg of the country's upcoming tour of Australia.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that Rohit Sharma's record during the knockout phase of the IPL had surprisingly not been great before yesterday's encounter.
"His playoff numbers were very ordinary. He had an average of around 12 or 13 and that too after 12 or 13 matches. So it was quite a big sample size and he is also a huge player but the numbers were troubling me a little, that such a big player should show who is the boss on the big stage."
He even recalled that Rohit Sharma had been dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin for a duck the last time the two sides met, in Qualifier 1.
"Whatever has happened in the past is in the past but the reality is that the last times the two teams had met he had got out on a duck, falling prey to Ravichandran Ashwin."
While observing that Quinton de Kock gave the Mumbai Indians a flying start as usual, the reputed commentator lauded Rohit Sharma for playing a responsible knock.
"Here there was a responsibility on him as it was the final and an additional 15 runs get added on top of the 157-run target due to scoreboard pressure. So the start was important. Quinton de Kock plays in his own fashion. He played this time as well the same way but Rohit Sharma played very well."
Aakash Chopra highlighted that Rohit Sharma played as per the demands of the situation and mixed caution with aggression.
"He played cautiously, whenever it was required to hit, he did that and when it was required to play cautiously, he did that as well. He made the other players bat along with him and by the time he got out, the match was already in their grasps."
Aakash Chopra on Rohit Sharma not being part of the Indian team for the limited-overs leg of the Australian tour
Aakash Chopra observed that Rohit Sharma's good form augurs well for the Indian team.
"Rohit's form is good for India and was good for the Mumbai Indians as well."
He added that it begs the question as to why the Indian opener has not been considered fit enough to play the limited-overs matches in Australia when he is fit to play in the IPL final.
"But it has left a small question in my mind, I am sure you would also be thinking the same, that if he is playing on 10th November and scoring 68 runs, if he is fit and running, then why is he not fit for the 27th?"
The former Test opener pointed out that there is still time to go before the limited-overs leg of the Australian tour, and questioned the supposed injury that Rohit Sharma is carrying.
"India's white-ball cricket against Australia is supposed to start on the 27th. There are still 17 days to go for that. If he is carrying an injury, then what is that injury? What is the magnitude of that? What is the gravity of the situation?"
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that Indian cricket fans deserve to know why the selectors have decided to rest Rohit Sharma for the shorter formats of the game in the Australian tour.
"I think all of us deserve a bit more insight because we are slightly in the dark about what exactly is happening with Rohit."
Rohit Sharma was initially not picked in any squad for the Australian tour, with the selectors waiting for him to recover from the hamstring injury he sustained in the IPL. He was later added to the Indian Test contingent, but hasn't been named for the white-ball games even though he is the vice-captain of the side.
Published 11 Nov 2020, 12:01 IST