'How much rest do you want?' Former India batter's blunt statement on senior players not playing West Indies series
Shikhar Dhawan will lead India in the three-match ODI series against the West Indies in which the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah won't be playing.
Shikhar Dhawan will lead India once more when they tour the West Indies for a three-match ODI series later in July. The Indian squad announced for the series is one that does not include a number of senior players, notably regular captain Rohit Sharma and former skipper Virat Kohli. The decision to rest the players raised a few eyebrows, considering the fact that Rohit had not played the fifth Test against England after testing positive for Covid-19 while Kohli had been rested for the first T20I against England.
Both Kohli and Rohit had been rested for India's five-match T20I series at home against South Africa and their two-match T20I series in Ireland before the England Test. Former India opener Aakash Chopra pointed out that all players in general had got plenty of rest in the past three years due to Covid-19 disrupting the cricket calendar.
"What is with all the rest? How much rest do you want? Earlier, when a player used to be out of form, he used to be dropped and picked again only when he scored runs in domestic cricket. But now whenever someone is out of form, he rests. Are you guys not worried about it?" Chopra said on his Youtube channel.
While Rohit had found it difficult to convert good starts in the IPL and seemed to have the same problem in the first T20I, Kohli's form across formats has seen an alarming drop this year.
"I personally think whenever someone is our of form, he should play as much cricket is possible. When there were strict bio bubbles, there was no cricket for almost six months in 2020 from March to September. Next year again you play one half of IPL and then after gap of three-four months you played the second half. So it's already a rest of ten months in 2-3 years. You don't get anymore rest than this in professional sport," said Chopra.
"It's good that India keep on giving opportunities to players like Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson when the big players are rested. But what happens when these fringe players score runs. Do you tell them that they are dropped just because the big players are available now? Won't they feel what wrong they have done?"