Graeme Smith takes a dig on Rohit Sharma after MI lost all the five games￼
Former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith feels the “mental strain” of guiding the Indian Team across formats may be taking a toll on Rohit Sharma in the ongoing IPL while Mumbai Indians couldn’t open their account in the points table.
The IPL franchise Mumbai Indians, who have the most successful team in the IPL by winning five titles which is the highest of any team, are yet to open their points in the tournament, having lost all four games so far.
This is after the swaggering opener has led India to white-ball series victories against West Indies and Sri Lanka followed by a test series at home against the Islanders.
“This is the first tournament he is captaining MI since becoming India’s white-ball captain. Does that mental strain take a toll on the IPL? It’s something to consider,”Smith was quoted as saying by ‘Cricket.com’.
Rohit was assigned India’s full-time Test skipper in February with his first assignment being the series against Sri Lanka in March.
Rohit’s franchise Mumbai Indians in the IPL is now in all trouble and couldn’t open their account in the Points table and Protea’s former skipper Smith, wondered if it has to do with him leading the Country across formats.
“Rohit is the energy at the top of the order. Gets them off to a start, and sets up the game that allows everyone else to play. When he is scoring runs MI are going to win a lot of the time.”
By losing all their four games consecutively as the team’s skipper, the opener has managed to score just 80 runs at an average of 20.
Smith said Rohit regaining his touch with the willow makes things easier for Mumbai Indians.
“He’s just such a key player. If you look at the line-up, Rohit, an outstanding player, hasn’t found form.
“You’ve got Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav injured for a couple of games. He has now come in and is looking good and then Pollard is the power finisher. You’ve got Brevis there but he’s a young man. That’s a very strong batting line-up.”
Ahead of the Mumbai Indians match against Punjab Kings, Smith called for left-arm spin bowling West Indies all-rounder Fabien Allen’s addition to the Playing XI.
“I’ve got for Tymal Mills to try and show some support to Bumrah. I’ve gone for Fabian Allen as well,”Smith said, citing the presence of many right-handers in the Punjab Kings line-up.
“My reason for that Punjab has a largely right-handed batting line-up and I like the fact he can spin the ball away from them and that will provide Rohit Sharma with another useful option and lengthens the batting line-up slightly,”Smith reasoned.