After posting a tribute to Mumbai Indians icon Kieron Pollard, who announced his retirement from the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday, India captain Rohit Sharma has come under fire online.
“It hasn’t been the easiest decision to make as I intend to keep playing for a few more years, but following discussions with Mumbai Indians I have decided to call time on my IPL career. I understand that this incredible franchise which has achieved so much needs to transition and if I’m no longer to play for MI then I cannot see myself playing against MI either, ‘Once an MI always an MI’. I am immensely proud, honoured and blessed to have represented the biggest and most successful team in the IPL for the past 13 seasons,” Kieron Pollard said in a statement on Twitter.
Kieron Pollard also disclosed that, despite not being a member of MI’s starting lineup, he has consented to serve as the team’s batting coach for the upcoming campaign.
Kieron Pollard‘s social media feed was inundated with congratulations comments as soon as he made his statement, with numerous former and present MI players praising the West Indies cricketer.
However, Rohit Sharma’s statement was what got people’s attention. Great man, a big influence, and always played with passion. Kieron Pollard is a true MI icon, Rohit commented on Instagram with a shot of the dynamic batter.
As soon as Indian cricket’s followers criticized Rohit Sharma for failing to tweet anything about the Men in Blue’s T20 World Cup campaign, which concluded in a semifinal loss, his tribute to Kieron Pollard quickly became trending on social media.
Fans have even claimed that Rohit Sharma put his team, the Mumbai Indians, above the nation since he was more focused on winning the IPL than an ICC competition.
— Savyasachi (@Savyasanchi_) November 15, 2022
— single boy rk (@samarth20233823) November 16, 2022
Indian cricket ke liye post kaha h??
— (@KohliCrews) November 15, 2022
Shameless can’t tweet for India loss but can tweet for Pollard’s retirement
— G (@ItzGauti18) November 15, 2022
Time For Choakit To Take Retirement Like Pollard
— no name (@saifuEP) November 15, 2022
He didn’t post anything for India, shameless person
— 18.5 *Shot of an Emperor* (@69without9) November 15, 2022
M@d@rch0d pr semifinal mein harne ke baad ek post nhi kiya gya.
— Ayush Dhiman (@ayushman_bhava_) November 15, 2022
Blood boiling stuffff bc aur lagta h kya jis bande ke liye IPL> international vo roya hoga dressing room me?
— Ashu (@Ashu15568179) November 15, 2022
In the meantime, Rohit Sharma and India’s head coach Rahul Dravid came under fire from former England captain Nasser Hussain for the Asian team’s failure to win the just-finished T20 World Cup in Australia. India eventually advanced to the tournament semifinals after escaping a few scares during the group round.
However, Jos Buttler and his team went on to bulldoze their way to a 10-wicket victory in Adelaide, proving that they were no match for a rampaging England there.
As a result of their victory over Pakistan in the championship match, England became the first team in cricket history to simultaneously hold the 50-over and T20 World Cups. Nasser Hussain attributed India’s defeat to their cautious approach.
In addition, Nasser Hussain stated that while India’s batters, particularly their openers, were playing aggressive cricket in bilateral matches, they were batting conservatively in the first few overs in ICC competitions.
In order to develop the art of aggression on the field, Nasser Hussain argued that India now required a persona akin to Eoin Morgan because the style of cricket they were playing would not help them win ICC competitions.
“I had even asked Ravi Shastri, who was the coach of that team (in the last T20 World Cup) and he said ‘we played pretty timid cricket’ with the bat and that’s got to change. Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid came to change that, and they did it in bilaterals, they did it against England. Suryakumar Yadav smashed it around Trent Bridge, got a brilliant 115 (117 off 55). But then, you’ve got to take it into a game, where you know that if you lose, the sort of criticism you are going to get. The first time they took that into a knockout game, they slid back into their old style of being 66 for 2 in 10 overs,” Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports.
“India is still a massive force. You look at their team on paper. You look at the players they could’ve picked. It’s a bit like England. There were a couple of blows like most sides had, like Jasprit Bumrah and Jadeja being injured. But, when it comes to knockout games, the approach needs to change. There’s talk about younger guns coming through but it’s not the players, but the mindset,” Nasser Hussain added.
“They need an Eoin Morgan-type character to go in there and say play carefree cricket. 20 overs, go and smash it as much as you can for 20 overs. Play like you play in the IPL and smash it. Do it for India and don’t worry about the noise. Shut out the noise and we’ll back if you are bowled out for 120,” he stressed.
Prior to Nasser Hussain, Atul Wassan, a former Indian pacer, criticized Rohit Sharma for his weak leadership and even suggested that he be relieved of his duties as team captain.
“Yes, I feel so (that Rohit’s time as India’s T20 captain is over). You always plan between two World Cups and I don’t think Indian cricket will gain anything by retaining him as captain. We won’t get any return for such an investment.
You have two options in front of you – Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant. I am still besides myself, can’t believe what happened. I felt as if India batted in Adelaide and England in Sharjah,” Atul Wassan told ABP News.
“We could see two level of cricketers. At least something should have happened. You can’t even find a fault. I feel that you can’t blame the captaincy. Afterall, it was the team management that was taking all decisions. Rohit Sharma did not take a single call. He only decided where to hide on the field,” Atul Wassan added.