• Tuesday, February 07, 2023

CRICKET

Why former India captain Kapil Dev feels whether Rohit Sharma is fit enough to lead country

India cricket captain Rohit Sharma (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Ever since Rohit Sharma became India’s all-format captain in early 2022, he hasn’t featured in many of the matches that the country has played across the three formats — 39 out of 68. While the Indian cricket board has followed a rotational policy for workload management, the 35-year-old batter has also missed a lot of these games because of injuries and his fitness has come under questioning in India’s cricketing circles.

Former India captain and legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev, who was known for his fitness in his playing days, believes while Sharma’s cricketing skills can never be doubted, his fitness is a major concern. He also asked whether Sharma is fit enough to inspire his teammates.

“There’s no shortcoming in Rohit Sharma. He has everything but I personally think, there is a huge question mark over his fitness. Is he fit enough? Because a captain should be someone who motivates the other players to get fitter, the teammates should feel proud of their captain,” Dev, 63, said on ABP News.

The former captain, who led India to the 1983 World Cup title, said if Sharma’s fitness improves, it will motivate other members of the team.

“I can say with surety that there is a huge doubt over Rohit’s fitness. There has been a lot of criticism that he hasn’t scored that many runs since he has become captain, I kind of agree with it but I don’t think there is any issue with his cricketing skills. He is a very successful cricketer. If he gets fitter, the entire team will rally around him,” Dev said.

He also advised the youngsters of the team to step up and not rely on senior batters such as Sharma and Virat Kohli to help the side clinch the World Cup.

India will be hosting the 50-over World Cup this year and with the number of misses the Men in Blue had in International Cricket Council tournaments over the last decade, fans are apprehensive whether they would be able to overcome the obstacle at home this year.

Sharma last featured in a game for India in the second one-day international against Bangladesh in December where he came out to bat almost at the end of the order as he sustained a serious thumb injury but plundered a brisk fifty that took India very close to victory.

He missed the third one-day international and the two Tests thereafter and is also not playing in the ongoing three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka. He is, however, set to return to the national side for the three-match one-day international series against the islanders beginning on Tuesday (10).

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