Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has said that he expected Rohit Sharma to step down from captaincy just like Virat Kohli did with Royal Challengers Bangalore. He also added that Rohit’s batting form in IPL can improve if he plays without the responsibility of being captain of the team.
Mumbai Indians had a very poor start in the IPL 2022 as they have lost all of the five matches they have played so far. Mumbai’s bowling unit has been quite ordinary this season and also in batting they lack contributions from Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard. Rohit has managed to score just 108 runs from five matches at 21.60 and a strike rate of 133.33.
Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes that Rohit can play freely as a batter handing the responsibility of captaincy to Kieron Pollard.
"I feel Pollard still adds value. (Before the season) I even felt Rohit Sharma might leave captaincy like Virat Kohli, relax a bit, play as a pure batter and hand the responsibility to Pollard who is a brilliant international captain," Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo.
Rohit is getting starts but he has been unable to convert them into a big knock. He gets settled on the crease and then plays an aerial shot to get dismissed. Manjrekar said that Rohit’s batting form is getting affected due to captaincy and he will play better while playing only as a pure batter.
“His record has been like this for the last 3-4 seasons, average less than 30, strike-rate not 150 or 160. When he plays for India his numbers get better... because then he only thinks about himself and less about the team," he explained.
"When playing IPL, he tries to play the anchor role similar to what KL Rahul did with Punjab Kings and Hardik Pandya did in the last match. If he plays freely, we'll see the Rohit Sharma we see in Indian cricket.”
"Pollard still has the capability, I can see that from the sixes he hits. He’ll contribute in the pressure match, the crunch game. But they need to reach there first and that’s not on Pollard, it never has been. He’s never contributed throughout the season for Mumbai Indians. He plays one innings in a pressure game and sees the team through. Others need to work better because Pollard is doing his usual job.”
Mumbai Indians will play their next game against Lucknow Super Giants on Saturday.