'If you are a batsman-captain, your first role is to make runs': Karim says IPL stalwart needs 'improvement in batting'
- Former India cricketer Saba Karim stated that “there's a need for improvement” in the IPL captain's batting.
Former India cricketer Saba Karim has expressed his desire to see Mumbai Indians captai Rohit Sharma perform better with the bat in the IPL and convert his brilliant international cricket form in the upcoming second half of IPL 2021.
While speaking during an interview on YouTube channel Khelneeti, Saba stated that “there's a need for improvement in his batting” and that the most important role of Sharma in the team is that of the batsman.
"There's a need for improvement in his batting. He's the captain and the Mumbai Indians are winning trophies under him, that's a different thing. They have a lot of match-winners so his performances don't get much attention.
"His most important role in the team is as a batsman... This is a peculiar case. Every time he goes to the IPL he's in brilliant form in international cricket but fails to convert it during the tournament," explained Karim.
Former wicketkeeper-batsman Karim also remarked that players often feel the weight of captaincy which then affects their batting. Adding further to his point, Karim commented that it is very important "for a captain to have that clarity when he goes out to bat".
"I sometimes feel that a player gets consumed too much into captaincy and it's possible his focus wavers from batting,...If you are a batsman-captain, your first role is to make runs with the bat. Captaincy gets better with the confidence from batting which has happened in Rohit Sharma's case as well.
"However, when you have been captaining for a long time, the focus, preparation, and temperament you need to have there gets disturbed. You tend to think more as a captain on batting and bowling strategies... It's very important for a captain to have that clarity when he goes out to bat. I expect to see that change in his batting this time, hopefully, it's not against Delhi Capitals though"
Despite defending champions Mumbai enjoying immense success over the last few years, 34-year-old Sharma's output with the bat has been uninspiring. Since 2017, he has averaged below 30 every season. Even in the first of IPL 2021, he only scored 250 runs in seven games.
Five-time champions Mumbai Indians, which are currently 4th in the standings, will resume their campaign against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, September 19.