India captain Virat Kohli has backed the selectors’ decision to rest Rohit Sharma for the upcoming tour to the West Indies where the ICC Champions Trophy finalists play five ODIs and a T20 international. He believes the decision was a “smart one” considering little rest that the Mumbai batsman has had since his hip injury last year. Kohli stressed the idea for the rest had been to save him for future tours to Sri Lanka and South Africa.
“Rohit has come back and really had a full IPL season, which has been hectic. They (Mumbai Indians) reached the final, so he got lesser rest than anyone else. Plus he had a massive hip surgery, so muscles around that area are always vulnerable, and today also he felt a bit of stiffness in his right knee,” Kohli said after India’s comprehensive nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy.
“There is no doubt about Rohit’s ability and what he brings to the team. We need to protect him going further, because latter half of the year we have massive tours coming up, and his batting contribution will be a huge factor for us.”
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“It is a conscious decision by everyone to give him a break. He is making the most of the form he is in right now. And I’m sure he also knows and understands the whole situation,” Kohli added.
Kohli further added that playing matches on a regular basis after a surgery is beneficial to prevent a recurrence of the injury. “So we want him to be careful because after a massive surgery you do need to be careful. If you push yourself a little too hard then it snaps again you are out for 7-8 months,” the Indian skipper said.
Rohit suffered his thigh injury during the ODIs against New Zealand and underwent surgery in England thus missing series against England, Bangladesh and Australia. He returned to captain Mumbai Indians to their third IPL title. For India, at the Champions Trophy, he has scored 304 runs including an unbeaten 123 against Bangladesh while forming a strong opening pairing with Shikhar Dhawan.