‘Fatigued’ Rohit Sharma needs break to freshen up ahead of T20I World Cup: Michael Clarke

Mumbai, May 7 (PTI) Former Australia captain Michael Clarke does not read much into Rohit Sharma’s string of poor scores, but suggests that the “fatigued” Indian skipper take a break to freshen up ahead of the T20I World Cup.

Rohit, who will lead India in the next month’s 20-team global showpiece, has four single-digit scores in his last five outings for his franchise Mumbai Indians in the ongoing IPL.

The 37-year-old has had a busy season this year with an intense five-Test series preceding the IPL for Mumbai Indians, who are all but eliminated from the race to the playoffs this year.

“Rohit, being the wise judge of his own performances, will undoubtedly be disappointed, especially considering his strong start. In my view, he might be feeling a bit fatigued as well,” Clarke told Star Sports.

“A break to freshen up could do wonders for him, but as the Indian captain and a key player for Mumbai Indians, you’re not getting a break. He’s going to have to find form,” Clarke continued.

Rohit played as an impact substitute in their match against Kolkata Knight Riders last week, raising some concerns for the Indian camp.

However, he played a full game against Sunrisers Hyderabad three days later.

Clarke said it is only a matter of time before Rohit gets back to his usual elements as a batter.

“He was in a great mood. He’s happy, which is a really good sign. He doesn’t seem to be struggling with his timing; it’s just a matter of getting out,” he said.

“With someone like Rohit, it’s only a matter of time before he finds his form again. Hopefully, he stresses less and focuses on his game because he’s too talented to keep missing out. He’s at his best when he’s timing the ball, rather than trying to force it,” he added.

Clarke, meanwhile, also had praise in store for Rohit’s deputy for the World Cup and MI skipper Hardik Pandya, who returned with 4-0-31-3 in their seven-wicket win over SRH on Monday.

“In the last couple of games, he’s been taking wickets with his bowling, making some adjustments along the way. For an all-rounder, success in one department boosts confidence across the board,” Clarke said.

“This aspect is crucial for Hardik Pandya’s cricket in any format — he needs to contribute with the ball. Initially, he didn’t bowl as much as expected or desired in the first half of this tournament. However, in the last three or four games, he’s returned to form.”

Clarke also said Pandya used his bouncers effectively which is an essential weapon in his armoury.

“He used his bouncer effectively, which I love seeing because it is a strong weapon in his arsenal. He executed the basics flawlessly, which is not only beneficial for Mumbai but also for Indian cricket as a whole, as it will enhance his overall performance,” said Clarke.

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