Rohit Sharma is currently undergoing strength and conditioning work at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru before heading to Australia for four-match Test series since he will not play the limited-overs series.
There has been constant speculation over his hamstring which was confusing as well as amusing for Rohit Sharma, who says he always knew that the injury was not that serious. He would be ready for the tour of Australia.
Rohit Sharma Told Mumbai Indians That He Can Take The Field Since IPL Is The Shortest T20 Format
India’s white-ball vice-captain, in a detailed conversation with PTI, gave his views about the left hamstring injury sustained during the IPL, which became a matter of intense speculation after he returned to action within a few days after being left out of the Australia tour earlier this month. He was subsequently added to the Test squad after discussion with him.
“I don’t know what was going on, to be honest and what all were people talking about. But let me put this on record, I was constantly communicating with BCCI and Mumbai Indians,” Rohit said.
He hit a match-winning knock of 68 off 50 balls in the IPL final against Delhi Capitals, playing through pain.
“I told them (Mumbai Indians) that I can take the field since it is the shortest format and I will be able to manage the situation quite nicely. Once I made my mind clear, it was all about focusing on what I needed to do,” he said.
“Hamstring is feeling absolutely fine. Just started the process of getting it nice and strong. Before I play the longer format, I absolutely needed to be clear in mind that there is no stone that is left unturned, that’s probably the reason, I’m at the NCA,” Rohit added.
For Rohit Sharma, his subsequent participation in the IPL play-offs didn’t matter much.
” Once the injury happened, the next two days all I did was to figure out what I can do in the next 10 days? whether I will be able to play or not.?,” he asked.
The five-time IPL champion captain said that he was confident of playing as the hamstring injury was changing every day as he communicated the matter with MI team management.
“But every day, hamstring (degree of injury) was changing. The way it was responding was changing, so I was feeling quite confident that I could play and that is the communication that I had with MI at that point,” he said.
Rohit Sharma needed three and a half weeks to get ready for Tests, and he skipped limited-overs as there are back to back games.
“Of course, there is still some work that needs to be done on my hamstring. That’s why I didn’t go to Australia for the white-ball leg as there are back-to-back games. Around 6 games in 11 days,” he said about the limited overs leg beginning November 27.
“So I thought if I get to work on my body for 25 days, I can probably go and play the Test matches. So it was an easy decision for me and I don’t know why it became so complicated for others.”
India will play 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is besides 4 Tests.
Rohit Sharma: Mumbai Indians Franchise Doesn’t Believe In Chopping And Changing Every Season
Rohit Sharma also spoke about his enduring relationship with his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians. The five-time champions, he said, were not created overnight as Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah have been associated since a long time with the franchise.
“There is a certain way this franchise wants to go and same direction I want to go as well, both as a player and leader.
“It’s just that this franchise doesn’t believe in chopping and changing. And every player, including Rohit Sharma, was available (2011) at auctions. Just that MI picked and believed in building a team,” he explained.
He was extremely proud of MI getting New Zealand pacer Trent Boult on board, which worked wonders for them. Delhi Capitals released Trent Boult in the players’ auction, a decision to be regretted given how effective he was this year being 3rd highest wicket-taker.
“We strongly pursued him(Boult) and got him from Capitals, something I am proud of. We needed someone to provide wickets upfront and who could swing the ball,” Rohit said.
It was a tough year on all counts considering Covid-19. Still, Rohit Sharma said the franchise provided an environment that created memories of a lifetime while being locked in a bio-bubble in UAE.
“MI in a year where everything was uncertain, created a happy space for us. 80 days in a bio-bubble never felt claustrophobic. Every little aspect was taken care of and the preparation started in June in a bio-secure environment with all net bowlers and Indian players,” he said.
Rohit Sharma also touched upon his IPL leadership and spoke about the freedom he gives his players by letting them evolve as individuals. He cited Suryakumar Yadav’s composure while dealing with India rejection as an example.
“We were sitting in our team room and I could feel he was dejected. It was he who came up and said, ‘Don’t worry I will get over it and win the matches for MI’. And when he said that I also realized he is heading in right direction not only in terms of IPL but in his overall career. There are a lot of India games and his time will come. If you ask me, my philosophy is mind over matter and that’s what works for me,” recalled Rohit Sharma about Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav was omitted from the T20I team for Australian tour despite scoring above 400 runs in each of last 3 IPL seasons.