Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were better off resting in India, feels Hanuma Vihari

Written by Vishwas Gupta

India decided to rest Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli once again from their playing XI, this time in the series decider against West Indies. Hardik Pandya captained the Indian team in the final ODI at Trinidad as India decided to experiment with their line-up once again.

India batter Hanuma Vihari questioned the choice to rest the senior India players and said that if they were not going to play in the West Indies, they could have been sent back home.

“They’re experimenting, isn’t it? I would love to have Rohit and Virat back because just before the World Cup we want our best team to be on the park and, you know, competing. Especially when it’s a series decided as well. There’s all to fight for. But again, whether it’s a niggle or it just resting, Rohit Sharma, we never know,” Vihari said on JioCinema on Tuesday, 1 August.

“But a Hardik Pandya has got another chance today. So the better they go, come back to India and rested up. They played only the first ODI and they didn’t get to bat as well. Rohit batted at the end, so it didn’t make sense them just playing the first and then resting the next one. So it didn’t make sense, did it?” Vihari further added.

Indian cricket stalwarts Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were rested for the second and final One Day International (ODI) matches against West Indies.

Head coach Rahul Dravid explained the rationale behind this strategy and said that the bench players needed to be tested ahead of the Asia Cup and the ODI World Cup. Hardik Pandya, who led the team in the absence of Sharma and Kohli, explained that both players had been involved in constant cricket and needed rest. The strategy backfired as India suffered a shocking defeat in the second ODI, with the team only managing to post 181 runs on the board.

Former India selector Saba Karim had criticised the constant changes in the batting order, arguing that it caused confusion and could potentially impact the team’s performance in the upcoming World Cup.

Despite the criticism, the team management continued with their experimental approach, resting Sharma and Kohli for the third and final ODI as well. This decision was explained by head coach Rahul Dravid, who stated that the team was looking to identify potential World Cup players and playing Sharma and Kohli in the second ODI would not have provided many answers.

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Vishwas Gupta