‘If you need a break, take it during the IPL’- Aakash Chopra questions frequent rest given to Rohit, Kohli and co.

Chopra pointed out while other captains are leading their teams regularly, why Rohit Sharma is taking breaks.

Chopra questioned the frequent breaks taken by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli | GettyFormer India opener Aakash Chopra questioned why isn’t Rohit Sharma captaining the Men in Blue side in ODIs. Since taking over as India's all-format captain almost a year ago, Rohit Sharma has led India in only six ODIs - three against West Indies at home and three in England.

Compared to this, Shikhar Dhawan captained India in seven ODIs (which will be nine by the end of the New Zealand series), and KL Rahul in six ODIs.

Rohit has captained in only two series since becoming the full-time captain in all formats and has missed five - in South Africa, in West Indies, in Zimbabwe, against South Africa at home, in New Zealand.

Given that the focus was on T20 World Cup 2022, Rohit Sharma was regularly rested in ODIs despite being available to play. He missed only the South Africa series at the start of the year when he was injured.

Aakash Chopra shared his thoughts on the frequent change of captains in Indian cricket in the last 12 months or so when a fan asked him about the same.

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He pointed out how all the other teams around the globe don't change their captains as much as India. He gave the examples of Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka, England's Jos Buttler, and Australia's Pat Cummins.

"If you look at Sri Lanka, they are playing against Afghanistan, and Dasun Shanaka is leading them. England played against Australia, and Jos Buttler is still their captain. Australia chopped and changed a little bit but Pat Cummins led them in two out of those three matches (against England). If all teams around the world are playing with their original captains then why do we change our captains so much? It's a valid question," Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

Most of the senior players like Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Mohammad Shami have been frequently rested as part of workload management. Most of the players participating in the ongoing New Zealand ODIs might not get a place in the XI once the big guns return to the fold. In fact, India's entire Rahul Dravid-led support staff has been given a break from the New Zealand series.

Chopra said that these frequent breaks hurt the continuity of the team and players cannot settle properly when the playing XI changes repeatedly.

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"The captain is the one responsible for building a team. The same captain, and the same coach helps a lot because the more time you spend with the team, the better you get to know each individual. If constantly, be it in West Indies, Zimbabwe, and now in New Zealand, your captain is not available then there is a problem. Shikhar Dhawan led India in the last three ODI series. Suddenly when you go to Bangladesh, he won't be the captain. The openers will change, and the captain will change. So when there are so many changes then your preparations are not good," he added.

Chopra wanted to see India's best possible XI from the next series onward against Bangladesh and added that if players like Rohit, and Kohli need a break, then they can take that during the IPL.

He said: "Now, the time for experimenting is gone. Rohit Sharma, I believe he is our captain for the 2023 ODI World Cup, should take minimal breaks and keep playing. If you need a break, take it during the IPL. If Team India is serious about winning the World Cup then they should start fielding their best XI as much as possible."


By Jatin Sharma - 26 Nov, 2022

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