India’s newly-appointed T20I skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid appeared for a joint press-conference in their new roles on the eve of the first T20I of the three- match series against New Zealand at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. While the duo answered a range of questions, one of the biggest takeaways from the event was their focus on managing the workload of certain players, and the emphasis being laid on the mental health aspect as well. Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt was impressed with their straightforwardness, especially that of Rohit.
While speaking in a video on his YouTube channel, Butt, who played 33 Tests, 78 ODIs and 24 T20Is for Pakistan between 2003-10, lauded Rohit and Virat Kohli for their mindset and for being very straightforward in press conferences, highlighting that this change was brought about ever since MS Dhoni took over the reins of the Indian team.
“Absolutely, there is no doubt about this. This is what I love about him (Rohit) and (Virat) Kohli, to a large extent. Things have not changed since Dhoni (was named captain). They talk straight and give apt answers.
“And at the end of the day, every person, every sporting personality, and every working man needs rest. Obviously, there will be fluctuations in their performance, which is inevitable. You can’t perform in every game but you’ve got to be consistent,” he added.
The anchor asked Butt about his views on Rohit Sharma’s comment that “players are not machines”. Butt backed Rohit and said he agreed with the Indian T20I captain’s point.
“I have always maintained that players need to be rested. It is difficult to maintain the same intensity. Players need to be rested so that they can come back stronger and keep doing what is expected of them. I completely agree with Rohit,” Butt added.
India had a below-par T20 World Cup campaign in the UAE as they crashed out of the tournament in the group stage. Ahead of the tournament, Kohli had announced that he will relinquish the T20 captaincy after the end of the tournament, citing workload issues.
India and New Zealand are taking part in a three-match T20I series. The likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, among others have been rested for the T20I series.
Both teams will also play two Tests after the conclusion of the T20I series. Kohli will also sit out the first Test in Kanpur, but will return for the second game at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
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