Rohit Sharma will be leading India in the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 and the World Cup 2023 tournament. These two tournaments could well be the last tournaments as India’s white-ball captain for Rohit Sharma, who is already of age 36.
Rohit Sharma’s fitness has always been under a cloud, especially since he’s missed a lot of games for India owing to injuries and rest. His physical appearance is not as lean and fit as some of the other Indian cricketers and until recently he also looked to have some excess belly fat.
But recent photos and videos have suggested that the 36-year-old has been working really hard on his fitness and diet, and has consequently gotten a bit slimmer than before. He has, importantly, cleared all the fitness tests – a recent report revealed that all the Asia Cup and World Cup bound Indian players have cleared the latest yo-yo test and are declared fit for the two tournaments.
Fans on social media still harp over the fitness of Rohit Sharma and often compare it with the fitness and athleticism of Virat Kohli. But there need not be too much concern regarding that. Here’s why.
Here’s why Rohit Sharma’s (lack of) fitness is NOT an issue for India:
His batting returns outweigh any fielding lapses
Yes, Rohit Sharma is certainly not as fit and agile as Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya, but cricketers don’t need to be so much fit either. They are judged on their output on the field, whether a player can endure play of 100 overs in an ODI game: for an opener who has to field for 50 overs and someone like Rohit, the captain and senior opener, would want to bat deep into the innings, especially knowing the impact he can have in a one-day game: the longer he bats, the quicker his and the team’s score ticks along.
Rohit Sharma is the only men’s batsman in the world to have multiple ODI double centuries – he has 3 to his name – and holds the record for the highest ODI score of 264 runs, and also has multiple scores over 150. His fitness and stamina has been tested in these types of long innings, and he’s come out with flying colors.
Rohit’s impact and contribution with the bat far outweigh the few runs the opponent might steal in singles or doubles when the ball goes to him on the field.
As a captain Rohit Sharma fields only inside 30-yard circle
Another thing to note is that most of the cricket captains, including Rohit Sharma field inside the 30-yard circle itself and rarely field at the boundary line. Thus, this makes his fitness even less important when talking about his fielding positions. Sharma doesn’t have to run around the boundary line at long-on or long-off; he mostly stands at mid-on and mid-off during the powerplay overs, and at cover or short mid-wicket when the field restrictions are lifted.
Also, it is not to forget, that Rohit may be slow and lacking in speed on the field, but he’s a very safe catcher and rarely drops any catch.
India will need Rohit Sharma to fire with the bat and make sound decisions as the captain, which are of greater significance than his fitness concerns.