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Rohit ‘looking forward to playing all games’ but admits managing workload will be key


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“We’ve already seen a lot of injuries within our squad so we have got to be careful with what we do with individuals and how we rotate them”

When Virat Kohli announced his resignation as India’s Test captain, the most straightforward choice was to hand over all three formats to Rohit Sharma. Rohit’s place is guaranteed in all three formats, he is experienced, and he has led his IPL side with distinction. However, it took the selectors a while to arrive at that conclusion because they wanted to be sure of Rohit’s fitness given the hectic schedules.

Rohit said he is aware of the need to manage his workload, but also assured he was in prime conditioning having recovered from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the South Africa tour.

“As far as I am concerned, at the moment there are no issues,” Rohit said. “I am looking forward to playing all the games. The workload always depends on what happens thereafter. You take it day by day, and understand what you need to do. If there is an opportunity for you to take a break, you will take the break and let someone get in and see how what kind of potential the other guy filling in has. Those are the things. But at the moment it seems to be okay.”

Eventually, though, there will be a point when his workload will have to be managed. “I am very clear in my mind as to how I want to take this forward,” Rohit said. “Obviously managing the workload, not just me but everyone, will be the key going forward. We have already seen a lot of injuries within our squad so we have just got to be very careful with what we do with individuals and how we rotate them and how we give them that break time that they need away from the game. So we are trying to manage that, we are trying to put a roadmap in place as to how we want to move forward.”

There is no time frame on Rohit’s captaincy stint, but Chetan Sharma, the chairman of selectors, said they were going to use however long the 34-year-old’s reign lasts to groom younger leaders. Through the choices made for vice-captains during different series, India seem to have zeroed in on Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah as the leaders in the longer run.

Rohit was asked what his role would be in grooming a new captain for India.

“I won’t have that much role to tell them everything,” Rohit said. “Obviously they are all mature cricketers, but it’s just that someone needs to be there around to help them, guide them, in difficult situations. And I will be more than happy to do that. That’s how we have grown into the role. We were groomed by someone else. So it’s a natural process. Everyone goes through this. We are no different here.

“If you talk of Bumrah, KL, Pant, all these guys have a big role to play in India’s success. At the same time they are looked upon as leaders as well. They do understand what they need to do as individuals. At the same time they realise there is a responsibility on their shoulders. You don’t want to put any pressure on these guys. They are critical to us. At the moment you want them to enjoy their game, come out freely, and execute their skills.”

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo



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