Rohit would not have lost MI captaincy if he had been named India T20 WC skipper earlier: Sidhu

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Rohit would not have lost MI captaincy if he had been named India T20 WC skipper earlier: Sidhu

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 | PTI | new delhi

Former India cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu believes that Rohit Sharma would not have been replaced by Hardik Pandya as Mumbai Indians captain had the BCCI named him skipper for the T20 World Cup last year itself.

Rohit was declared captain of India’s yet-to-be-named T20 World Cup squad in February this year by BCCI secretary Jay Shah at an event in Ahmedabad, a good two months after he was replaced by Pandya as MI skipper.

“If the BCCI had named Rohit as captain for the T20 World Cup in October, the franchise wouldn’t have chosen Hardik as captain. It’s a matter of the franchise’s respect. So, the actual issue here is timing,” Sidhu said in ‘Star Sports Press Room’.

Pandya has been facing hostility from fans in the ongoing IPL, booed in all three matches so far, including the one at MI’s home turf of Wankhede, besides ending up on the losing side.

Sidhu said the fans’ reaction is quite understandable as Rohit is a much-loved cricketer.

“Nobody can digest the fact that India’s hero, India’s captain, is not the captain of our franchise. ‘What wrong has he done?’ is what fans of the franchise would be thinking. But what does he have to do?

“There is nothing that succeeds like success. If he had won these two matches, there wouldn’t have been any noise,” he pointed out.

Talking about other teams in the IPL, Sidhu felt Royal Challengers Bengaluru have become predictable, especially in their spin bowling.

“The biggest thing needed in the winning of a team is that they are not dependent on just one individual to achieve victory. We do talk about Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis, but you got to saddle the right horse.

“The chain is as strong as the weakest link, and their weakness lies in the spin department. Their spinners are just not there, so therefore they will have to replenish that area. Like, RCB had (Wanindu) Hasaranga, who was pretty good and even before him, there was Yuzvendra Chahal,” he observed.

“But they let them go and that has created a void in their bowling line-up. RCB haven’t been able to fill that void, which makes them predictable. Now look at (MS) Dhoni - when he comes, no one knows his plan,” he said.

Sidhu reiterated that IPL performances will shape the T20 World Cup squads of all the teams.

“The entire world revolves around the IPL. Playing in the IPL just before the World Cup is like participating in a mini World Cup. Stellar performance here can make you an overnight sensation. Therefore, anyone who excels in the IPL becomes a strong contender,” he said.

The T20 World Cup will begin on June 1 in the USA and the West Indies.

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