India skipper Rohit Sharma has explained as routine workload management, his absence and that of senior batter Virat Kohli, from the white-ball series against West Indies.
Rohit Sharma played the first ODI but was absent from the next two games and the subsequent T20I series in West Indies.
With him 'resting', Hardik Pandya led the team in the next two ODI matches of the series that India won 2-1 and is currently captaining the team in the five-match T20I series, in which the Men in Blue are trailing 1-2 going into the fourth and fifth matches in Florida. Both of them will also miss the three-match T20I series against Ireland as Hardik Pandya will lead the squad again.
But Rohit has now opened up on this and said their absence from the series was part of the strategy as they did the same thing before the T20 World Cup in 2022.
Rohit said they are sitting out from the white-ball series because they wanted to give chances to the young players in T20Is and that both of them had not played T20I format since last year's T20 World Cup in Australia.
“Last year also we did the same thing — the T20 World Cup was there, so we didn’t play one-day cricket. Now also we are doing the same, the ODI World Cup is there, so we are not playing T20s," Rohit told the media on Friday.
Rohit also chided the media for making a hue and cry on his absence and pointed out that even spinner Ravindra Jadeja too is not playing the T20I series against West Indies.
“You can’t play everything and be ready for the World Cup. We decided this two years ago. (Ravindra) Jadeja is also not playing T20, you did not ask about him?" Rohit said.
“It is a World Cup year; we want to keep everyone fresh; already we had so many injuries in the team that I am scared of injuries now," he added.
He claimed that the Indian team management had discussed this matter with the BCCI.
“We had a discussion with the BCCI also that we need to look after the players well. Whenever we have an opportunity to rest players, we will rest players and rotate them. We don’t want anyone to miss the key events," he said.
“A couple of our key players missed some big events in the last two years and we don’t want that," Rohit added.