Rohit Sharma, the Indian cricketer is all set to lead the Indian team in the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 and ICC ODI World Cup 2023 but there was a time when he was dropped from the World Cup squad for 2011 World Cup.
Initially, Rohit Sharma’s record in ODIs was not a very good one as in the first four years of his ODI career, he played 57 matches in which he scored only 1248 runs at a small average of 21 runs. He also suffered a shoulder injury in 2009 because of which he was not able to play for around six months and this also decreased his prospects of playing in World Cup 2011.
Things took a favorable turn for Rohit when MS Dhoni made him play as an opener in 2013 but do you have an idea that despite ordinary performances in ODIs, selectors were still thinking of keeping Rohit Sharma in WC 2011 squad but he got dropped because of the then skipper MS Dhoni?
Raja Venkat, one of the members of the selection committee of that time which was headed by Kris Srikanth made some interesting revelations in an interview. Raja Venkat said that when they all met for selecting the team, Rohit Sharma was in their scheme of things. He added that at that time, he and Yashpal Sharma were in South Africa as the Indian team was travelling to South Africa and the remaining three selectors – Kris Srikanth, Narendra Hirwani and Surendra Bhave were in Chennai.
He said that from 1 to 14, every player’s name was accepted by the panel and the 15th name was of Rohit Sharma. Raja Venkat further said that the then coach Gary Kirsten was satisfied with Rohit’s selection but the then skipper MS Dhoni suggested Piyush Chawla’s name. The coach also accepted MS Dhoni’s suggestion and Rohit Sharma’s name was excluded from the list.
Raja Venkat said that they didn’t get the chance to have a word with the player (Rohit) and they were also disappointed that they were not able to select him in the team as they had no option other than accepting what the captain and the coach wanted.
Rohit Sharma also accepted on Twitter that though he has to move on yet exclusion from the 2011 WC squad was a big setback for him.
Well, times have changed a lot and now Rohit Sharma will be carrying the expectations of the whole country on his shoulders as they want to see Rohit lifting the World Cup trophy and repeat what happened in 2011.