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“Captaincy will be brilliant in the next match” – Irfan Pathan on Rohit Sharma
By SMCS - Feb 1, 2024 5:20 pm
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Former India speedster Irfan Pathan said that Team India captain Rohit Sharma was not at his tactical best during the first Test against Hyderabad, where the Indian team faced a 28-run loss. Sharma received a lot of criticism for his captaincy, with a few former England cricketers suggesting he wasn’t very proactive as well. Pathan, however, backed Rohit to make amends by turning the table this time.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

The cricketer-turned-commentator said during an interview with Sports Today,  “Rohit Sharma’s captaincy was not up to the mark. There were a few players who were set; they could have looked to convert those starts into big scores. Our bowling could also have been better. However, I am confident that Rohit Sharma’s captaincy will be brilliant in the next match and we will make a comeback, despite the fact that we have a lot of problems with some of our key players being injured. England have hinted that they might play four spinners. Do that if you want to. Yes, you won the first match, but that doesn’t mean that you have won the series.”

However, India failed to chase down a 231-run target in the first Test, getting bowled out for 202 on Day 4. For England, Ollie Pope’s 196-run knock in England’s second innings made the difference, along with debutant spinner Tom Hartley’s seven-wicket haul in the fourth innings as well.

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On the other hand, Irfan Pathan also added that he had never predicted that India would complete a 5-0 clean sweep against England. He shared that he had always felt that India would win by 4-1 or 4-0.

“My prediction had always been 4-1 or 4-0 in India’s favour. So, they have already won that one match. England is a very strong opponent, and every team comes to India well-prepared and with the hope of winning. Their approach to playing Test cricket has also been very good,” he stated.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah cleaned up Ben Duckett

Meanwhile, Irfan Pathan believes Mohammed Shami’s absence would have no injury effect on Jasprit Bumrah, as his actions are perfect now. Notably, Shami has been out of action since the 2023 ODI World Cup with an ankle injury, while Bumrah has returned from a stress fracture in August last year after being absent for nearly a year as well.

Speaking to PTI TV, Pathan said, “Obviously, Shami’s absence does have an effect but that does not mean chances of injury will increase for Bumrah. His action is absolutely perfect now. When there is pressure from both sides, whether it is Shami taking wickets from one side or Bumrah working quietly from one side. Bumrah is taking wickets and Shami is working quietly, their partnership not only reduces the pressure on each other but also augurs well for the team.”

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However, Irfan Pathan shared his admiration for the Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, thanks to him prioritizing Test cricket despite recurring injuries as well. Bumrah has played 33 red-ball games for India and claimed 146 wickets at an average of 20.81, including nine 5-wicket hauls as well.

“I have been a big fan of Jasprit Bumrah’s attitude, especially in Test cricket, the way he has given priority to Test cricket despite injuries. “Even if he gets injured, I will salute him because he is trying his best. We all have to always keep this in mind,” concluded Irfan Pathan.