Rohit’s challenges as MI skipper have doubled: Shastri

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has reckoned that Rohit Sharma’s challenges as skipper of five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians “have doubled” in the few years, citing the change in players in his team.

Notably, the inclusion of two new teams ahead of IPL 2022 meant Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya went to Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants respectively, while Lasith Malinga and Kieron Pollard retired from the cash-rich league.

Moreover, issues also increased with Jofra Archer unavailable in IPL 2022 due to long run with injuries and is still finding his rhythm in IPL 2023, while pacer Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out this year due to long-standing back injury.

“The resources that you had two or three years ago isn’t quite the same. The challenges as a captain might have doubled for him. The work as a captain would have doubled as opposed to two years ago when everything was nice, set – go out there and do the job. And then comes the challenge of how do you get them (the team) going, how do you motivate that bunch, how do you create a combination, how do you see who is the best in that lot to fit in and deliver at a certain stage of the game,” Shastri was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

Currently, Mumbai, who finished last on the table with just four wins in the league stage, are currently at sixth place on the points table.

In the last season, Rohit could manage only 268 runs without a single fifty, averaging 19.14 and strike rate of 120.17. Similarly in IPL 2023, he has managed to amass just 184 runs at an average of 18.39 and strike rate of 126.89, with the highest score of 65.

Shastri also felt not being in form with the bat has affected Rohit’s captaincy in the IPL. “If you start getting on a purple patch where you are scoring runs, the job as a captain becomes much easier, the body language on the field changes, that energy on the field is different as opposed to when you are not getting runs. You can go flat no matter who you are.”

“That’s where, as a captain, it is more important that your performances come into play. It is harder now because of the stage of his career, the kind of team that they have. The same team could be a terrific team in a year’s time or two years’ time, once they start gelling together. But to get that right mix, that’s the job of the captain.”

Mumbai’s next game in IPL 2023 will be against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.

News Desk

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