IPL 2019: Experts laud Rohit Sharma’s decision to open batting for Mumbai Indians

New Delhi, March 24, 2019: Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma’s decision to open the innings this season of the Indian Premier League has been welcomed by experts.

Ever since Sharma began opening for India in 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, he has been inconsistent as far as batting up the order for his IPL franchise is concerned. However, this time around the cricketer has decided to take on the new ball with the ICC World Cup in mind according to dnaindia.com.

Sri Lankan batting legend Kumar Sangakkara has given a thumbs up to Sharma. “In my opinion, it is a yes, he (Sharma) should open, without a doubt. Rohit Sharma should have opened last year and I’m very happy that he is opening this year. It gives Mumbai Indians and Rohit Sharma the best opportunity of scoring hundreds and winning games,” Sangakkara said at the launch of Star Sports Select Dugout 2.0 in Mumbai

Former India captain and leg spin great Anil Kumble said that Sharma should follow his decision consistently through out the tournament.

“Mumbai has always had this issue with Rohit (opening). When I was there with Mumbai (as a support staff), he batted at four, there was an (for him) to open the batting. But what Mumbai Indians and Rohit need to decide is if he decides to open, he needs to open for the rest of the tournament,” Kumble said.

“Last year, he said the same thing, he wanted to open the innings, didn’t go well in the first couple of games and then he dropped down. And then again went and opened the batting and again dropped down. So if he decides to open, the he should stay at that position and then play through,” he added.

According to the reports published in dnaindia.com New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris also backed Sharma. “In this case, he has said, he is going to open and that is good for India, we know that for the World Cup (which is coming ahead). He is such a champion there and I think, we will see his skills, he is so good and he will stand-out anyway in this IPL.”

‘Elections won’t be a distraction’

Even as the IPL coincides with the Union general elections, former Kumble said it won’t be a distraction.

“I guess that’s a challenge for the viewer. Don’t know which one will be more entertaining. I’m sure cricket will be more entertaining. That will be sort of a distraction, but that’s something all of us are looking forward to once in five years.

“(The year) 2014 was similar. (In) 2019, I’m sure, cricket will be followed more closely because of the World Cup. Form of players, but not just the Indian players but foreign players as well who are part of the IPL. The fans will be looking forward to have an eye on key players. I don’t think its (elections) going to be a distraction.”

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