‘Rohit shouldn’t have been allowed to bat again’: AFG star’s fierce take | Cricket - Hindustan Times

‘Rohit Sharma shouldn’t have been allowed to bat again’: Afghanistan star’s fierce take on double Super Over controversy

Jan 21, 2024 01:43 PM IST

Afghanistan's Karim Janat, who was part of the third T20I against India, spoke about the double Super Over game during a chat at the DP World ILT20.

Team India took part in its final T20I assignment before the World Cup in the series against Afghanistan, where it registered a 3-0 series win. The series saw the return of two of the side’s star players – captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli; while the latter had an indifferent outing in his two matches, Rohit produced a phenomenal performance after two successive ducks, smashing his career-best 121* in the final match. The game in Bengaluru saw a high-voltage drama as the result was decided by a double Super Over – a first of its kind in international cricket.

India's captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the super over of third and final Twenty20 international cricket match between India and Afghanistan(AFP)
India's captain Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the super over of third and final Twenty20 international cricket match between India and Afghanistan(AFP)

It further took an unusual turn in the Super Over when Rohit Sharma made an unprecedented move, choosing to remove himself from the first over just before its final ball. With Yashasvi Jaiswal on strike and India needing 2 runs to win, Rohit voluntarily stepped aside to make way for the faster Rinku Singh, who was third in the batting order for the over. However, confusion arose over whether Rohit was retired out or retired hurt, triggering a debate over his status.

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The controversy deepened as per the Super Over rule, which states that once a batter is retired out, they cannot return to play. Despite this, Rohit Sharma returned to bat when the second Super Over commenced, intensifying the debate over the circumstances of his previous departure. Afghanistan's captain, Ibrahim Zadran, engaged in an intense conversation with the umpires as Rohit arrived; nevertheless, play resumed when Rohit took the strike.

Days after the match, Afghanistan's Karim Janat, who played in the third T20I, provided insight into his side’s perspective on the events. Janat argued that Rohit should not have been allowed to come back to the crease, citing the rules that prohibit such a return.

“We didn’t know much about that. Our management talked to the umpires. Rohit came out to bat, but we learned later that he shouldn't have been allowed to do that. Even if you were retired out, you can’t come to bat again. We can’t do much about it now because what’s happened has happened. The captain and coach discussed about it later, but it was all between them,” Janat told Hindustan Times in an interaction on the sidelines of the DP World International League T20 (ILT20) in the UAE.

Interestingly, Afghanistan’s coach, Jonathan Trott, hinted at minimal communication between officials and the players as the whole episode panned out.

“I have no idea (whether Rohit retired hurt or out). Has there ever been two Super Overs? That's what I am trying to say. We keep setting these new rules. What I am trying to say is we kept testing the rules, we kept testing the guidelines,” Trott had said in the post-match press meet.

Another brief controversy erupted during the first Super Over when Mohammad Nabi, the veteran Afghanistan all-rounder, ran three byes from a deflection off his body. On the final delivery, Nabi missed a shot but ran regardless, as wicketkeeper Sanju Samson attempted a run out. The ball deflected off Nabi and began to race towards Virat Kohli at long-on; the Afghanistan star then ran two more runs, infuriating Rohit Sharma. The Indian captain walked up to Nabi and argued with the player, but Janat said there was nothing wrong with Nabi’s approach.

“It was a misunderstanding. If a batter is running and someone throws from behind, he wouldn’t know where the ball is coming from. Even in the first T20I, there were five runs awarded when the ball was deflected off Gill’s bat. The batter wasn’t at the fault here,” said the Afghanistan bowler.

Janat at DP World ILT20

Soon after the final T20I against India, Janat took off to the UAE to participate in the ILT20, where he represents the Gulf Giants. The 2024 edition will be Janat’s first in the league, and he insists the goal is to help the Giants defend the title.

“This is my first season in ILT20, so this will be a new experience for me. But I’m in a champion team. So, we will try to perform similarly. It is a little difficult to adapt to conditions. You have to manage the travelling. But, as a cricketer, you have to do that. You have to maintain the fitness,” said Janat.

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