Hardik Pandya led the Indian team in the absence of Rohit Sharma, while Virat Kohli was also missing in the second ODI against West Indies
During the toss of the second ODI match of the series against West Indies, Indian team fans were eagerly awaiting a surprise, as Hardik Pandya had captained the team in Barbados. Hardik took charge of the Indian team during the first ODI against Australia earlier this year in March, but Rohit’s absence has caused some concern, as it marks the return of the Indian team to this format after the March ODI. Hardik revealed that Rohit and star player Virat Kohli have been given a “rest” as they have been playing continuous cricket for the past few months.
Hardik said, “It’s just that there are some questions that need to be answered.” This indicates that the team management aims to test other players before major tournaments like the Asia Cup and World Cup.
“Ro (Rohit Sharma) and Virat (Kohli) have been playing cricket continuously. We thought they should rest for this game and be fresh for the third ODI. So, it’s as simple as that, they are taking a break and ensuring that other players get a chance,” Hardik added.
Both Rohit and Kohli have been on the road since the beginning of the year, participating in ODIs against Sri Lanka and New Zealand before featuring in ODIs against Australia as well. After the international season, both players represented their respective franchises in the 2023 Indian Premier League and played all their franchise matches in the tournament.
In June, Rohit captained the Indian team along with Kohli in the most important final of the World Test Championship. However, before returning to the West Indies tour, Team India stayed away from cricket for a month and participated in the two Test matches before the ODI series.
Hardik further revealed that wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson and all-rounder Axar Patel replaced Rohit and Kohli, respectively, for the second match in Barbados. India is currently leading the three-match series 1-0 after registering a five-wicket victory in the first match of this week. Prior to this, India had won the Test series 1-0, while the second Test in Port of Spain ended in a draw after the last day’s play was abandoned.