Should’ve waited before declaring KL Rahul Vice Capt: Dasgupta on Oz squad

Former wicketkeeper says BCCI should have deferred its decision to replace injured Rohit Sharma

third double century, Rohit Sharma, India, Sri Lanka, Mohali, ODIs
Rohit Sharma has not been picked in any of the three teams for the tour of Australia. File photo: PTI

Mumbai Indians’ captain Rohit Sharma is a prominent omission in the Indian squad for Australia tour where visitors are scheduled to play four Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is starting December 3. The BCCI announced the three squads on Monday (October 26), leaving no room for Rohit Sharma. The Board said it is monitoring the hamstring injury Rohit sustained during the IPL.

The decision has not gone down well with his fans, especially when Rohit is seen batting at the nets during MI’s training sessions. Besides, Mayank Agarwal, who has also missed the past two games for Kings XI Punjab due to an injury, was included in the squads for all three formats.

A day after Sunil Gavaskar was quoted as having called for a “little bit of transparency” and “openness”, former India wicketkeeper Deep Dasgupta said it made no sense to see Rohit sitting out if he plays the IPL going forward.

“Rohit still hasn’t played any game in a while now, but I guess if he is fit to play for the Mumbai Indians then he will be part of the national team. But what I know is that he is still 50:50, although he has just started to bat in the nets,” Dasgupta said in an interaction on Sports Today.

Dasgupta pointed out that BCCI’s decision to announce KL Rahul as the vice-captain of the team in Rohit’s absence could have been kept on hold till more clarity was attained on Rohit’s fitness.

“I guess it is just a matter of time. As soon as he is fit to play a game or a few games, then he will be ready. It is a hamstring issue and you don’t want to include someone who is not 100 per cent fit,” he said.

“If Rohit is fit, he has to be there. There is no doubt about it. Maybe Mayank Agarwal’s injury is not as serious and therefore his name is included. But a fit Rohit Sharma has to be included in the team,” he said.

“Maybe announcing the vice-captain could have been on hold. They could have waited for Rohit’s injury details for another week, and then gone ahead with it (declaring the vice-captain).”

On Tuesday, Gavaskar had said: “We are talking about the Test matches, which are a month and a half way. What actually is the problem with him will help everybody. If he is practising in the nets for Mumbai Indians, then honestly I don’t know what kind of injury it is.”

Gavaskar had said the Indian cricket fans deserve to know about Rohit’s injury. “The franchisees, I understand. They don’t want to give their hand away… But we are talking about the Indian team here.”

With the changing formats of the game, fitness has become of prime importance and thus calls for transparency in this assumes major significance, he said.

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