Is Fear The Reason Behind Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul’s Poor Form?

Toby Marshall
29 November 2022
Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul

“It’s the fear” Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton decode the reason behind Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul’s poor form

India were brilliant in the recently concluded three-match T20I series as they scored a win by 1-0. However, the loss in the semi-final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 is still fresh in the minds of a lot of cricket fans. It was the same old story for the Men in Blue in the ICC tournament. After ending up at the top place in the points table during the league round, they flattened in the semi-finals. This time it was England who thrashed India by an embarrassing ten wickets to reach the final and ultimately lift the trophy.

India’s defeat in the knockout match has resulted in a lot of criticism and hate for the Indian skipper Rohit Sharma. The Mumbai Stalwart looked extremely promising when he held the reins of the team last year. Sharma won back-to-back T20I series as well under his leadership. However, he failed to work his charm in the ICC event.

The opening batter has also consistently failed in scoring runs with the bat. For the past few months, Rohit has been struggling with his form. He hardly scored any runs in the Asia Cup and followed his poor form in the T20 World Cup as well. Rohit’s partner at the top, KL Rahul, is also not among the runs. Thus, the two opening batters are being considered liabilities for India and the biggest reason behind the exit from the ICC event.

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain believes that the fear is restricting Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul from playing their game freely. Both the players are supremely talented and have been assets for the team in the past. However, they are not secure and the fear and uncertainty reflect in their batting as well. 

Hussain backed the idea of a captain like Eoin Morgan for the Indian team, who could take the pressure off the opening batters and allow them to play their natural game. However, the former skipper Michael Atherton does not echo the same sentiments. The veteran believes that it will be extremely hard for India to have a captain like Morgan due to the cut-throat competition.

Atherton reckoned that players like Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are not sure about their position in the team, which contributes to the fear. The two players have the constant fear of being replaced due to the huge number of talented cricketers in India that are just waiting for an opportunity to shine in the game. 

“You talk about the Morgan impact on England and rightly so. But do you think it’s harder in India for two reasons, one is the number of cricketers they have so obviously the competition is greater. You kind of feel, if you lose your place and somebody comes in, you might not get your spot back again. And also, the differential between the match fees paid by BCCI and sponsorship arrangements that these big names like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and KL Rahul, there’s a huge differential, much bigger than England. Do you think these two factors make it more difficult for India?” Michael Atherton said while being in a conversation at Sky Sports.

However, Nasser Hussain does not agree with Atherton’s thoughts about Rohit and Rahul being insecure. He added that the two batters have been match-winners and it will never be easy for any player to fill their shoes. As per Hussain, they just need to shed their fear. The former skipper especially lauded Rohit Sharma as he recalled his double-hundreds in One Day Internationals. 

“I think you are complicating things. I wouldn’t be worried if they weren’t incredibly talented cricketers. You’re not talking about someone who is on the edge of the seat for a place in the side. You’re talking about Rohit Sharma, who has got three double-hundreds in ODI cricket, so the guy can smash it. You’re talking about KL Rahul when you do see him bat. I think it’s the fear,” Nasser Hussain concluded. 

Author Toby Marshall