No Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma Again For India In Must-Win Contest vs West Indies. Stand-in Captain Hardik Pandya Says This
India chose to go without Virat Kohli and regular skipper Rohit Sharma yet again in the must-win third ODI against West Indies in Trinidad on Tuesday
India chose to go without Virat Kohli and regular skipper Rohit Sharma yet again in the must-win third ODI against West Indies in Trinidad on Tuesday. The duo had been rested for the second ODI against West Indies which India lost as the hosts levelled the three-match series 1-1. At the toss, Hardik Pandya came, which made it apparent that Rohit Sharma was not in the XI. When he was asked about whether Kohli was playing or not, Pandya gave this answer: "Two changes for us. Ruturaj comes in place of Umran and Unadkat comes in place of Axar. Going to the decider the boys are pumped up and looking forward to the game. Looks good (the surface), I don't think much will change, batting first gives a good opportunity for us to set a good total."
The team management's decision to rest Kohli and Rohit in the second ODI, that India lost, did not go down well with several experts. Speaking on Jio Cinema, former India cricketer Aakash Chopra said that he was not pleased with the experimentation and felt the senior duo did not require rest for this match.
"I don't know why Rohit and Virat were rested; they haven't played a lot of cricket because if you see, after WTC final there was a break of three weeks and there was only seven days of play in the India-WI tests. After that you play one ODI and leave the next. If you want to leave the T20s aside, leave it. I mean even if you don't play T20s this year, how is it going to affect anyone because we don't have the T20 WC this year. Rohit and Kohli anyway, do not feature in T20Is. So, you are relaxing just with the purpose of relaxing," he said.
Another former batter, Abhishek Nayar, also believes that the strongest team should play.
"I believe since the time you are six to eight months away from a big tournament, you should play with your strongest eleven, unless there is an injury. Play with them only because once you do that, everyone gets to know each other's strengths and it will help you to experience playing together in different situations and learn."