India will kick off their white-ball series against New Zealand with the first T20I set to be played in Wellington on Friday. The tour consists of three T20Is and three ODIs between November 18 and 30. Hardik Pandya would lead Team India in the absence of senior stars like KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma in the T20I series, while Shikhar Dhawan would captain in ODIs.
Team India suffered a humiliating exit from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 after losing by 10 wickets to England in the semi-final at the Adelaide Oval. Rohit Sharma has scored 116 runs in six games at an average of 19.33 and, barring a knock of 53 against the Netherlands, has failed to impress with the bat on other occasions.
Rohit Sharma Is A World-Class Player – Salman Butt
Speaking on his YouTube channel, former Pakistan opener Salman Butt said that Rohit Sharma’s batting failures in the recently concluded T20 World Cup should not be treated harshly. Butt stated that it is important for the Indian captain to improve his fitness. He believes that if Sharma works on his fitness, he can contribute more to his team’s success.
“Rohit Sharma is a world-class player. It’s just that he wasn’t on song at the T20 World Cup. He also didn’t look very fit and looked slow and lethargic on the field. But he is a top player,” said Salman Butt.
“It does not mean that he is not capable. Despite not being supremely fit, he has played some exceptional knocks in the past. Fitter Rohit Sharma would benefit India a lot more,” he added.
While the Indian team advanced to the showpiece event’s semi-finals, Sharma was widely criticized for his disappointing batting. The 35-year-old struggled against England in the semi-finals, scoring just 27 runs in 28 balls in the crucial match.
Bad Outing Doesn’t Mean That The Indian Openers Are Not Good Enough – Salman Butt
Pakistan batsman Salman Butt said that Suryakumar Kumar Yadav is capable of scoring runs at a quick pace even if there are no field restrictions. The 38-year-old believes that India’s opening combo of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul should not be changed after one poor season.
“The way he (Suryakumar) bats in the middle order, it seems as if the powerplay is still on,” Butt said. “But it all depends on how the team management wants to utilise him. A bad outing doesn’t mean that the Indian openers are not good enough.”