IPL 2021: Trent Boult opines on MI resting Rohit Sharma and Pollard’s captaincy vs CSK

Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya missed the defending champions’ opening game in the second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on September 19 in Dubai.

Mumbai Indians (MI) were given a brilliant start by New Zealand’s duo of Trent Boult and Adam Milne against CSK, but eventually, they fell 20 runs short against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), and many felt stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard’s strategy went wrong for the side.

On Wednesday, September 22, Boult revealed the reason behind resting Rohit and Hardik for their last IPL 2021 game against CSK in Dubai and their fitness ahead of MI’s next game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Thursday (September 23) at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.

Boult said MI wants to manage Rohit’s workload as a precaution and keep the skipper fit, considering the amount of cricket coming up especially ICC T20 World Cup 2021, which will be played just 2 days after the conclusion of the ongoing IPL 2021 in the UAE.

Though, the pacer was also not sure whether Rohit would play against KKR on Thursday, as the franchise just wants to make sure he is 100% fit.

Speaking at a pre-match press conference, Boult said of Rohit and Hardik’s fitness: “They are both recovering well, in terms of their selection for the next game, I am not too sure. It was a bit of a precautionary move to rest them.”

The Kiwi pacer further said about MI’s next IPL 14 game against KKR, “Every game is such a big game, every match is important now. But history is history; it is nice to have good results in our bag against KKR. They are a quality side. We would not take them lightly. Varun Chakravarthy is a quality bowler, I hope I do not face him being a number eleven, yeah I think more importantly it is about batting unit of Mumbai putting a good performance and stack up scores.”

On being asked whether Pollard could have brought in him or Jasprit Bumrah into the attack when Ravindra Jadeja had just come to bat in the last game, Boult said: “I am not too sure. Pollard captains really well. It is just the nature of the game and the format. Partnerships are built and platforms are set. They played nicely to get into a position to counter-attack at the end.”

He further noted, “It was disappointing to give CSK momentum at the halfway mark but it is something we will address and look to tidy up in that department.”

However, Boult admitted that MI missed the captaincy of Rohit in their last IPL 14 game against CSK.

He continued, “He was sorely missed. He is right up there in terms of experience and runs achieved in this format. So, it was a big hole but it was a good decision to make sure he is 100 percent fit with the amount of cricket coming up. If he comes to the eleven tomorrow, it will be great but we want to make sure he is 100 percent fit.”

The New Zealander also said the ongoing IPL 2021 in the UAE will give a perfect opportunity to everyone to prepare and get used to the conditions ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.

He said, “Yeah, 100%. You could probably not have any better build-up to a tournament like the T20 World Cup. The focus is on what’s on for the next couple of weeks, but in terms of preparation, it is very good. Conditions can change quickly but having to deal with the heat and humidity is a big challenge at this stage. It is going to be interesting to see conditions move over the course of the next few weeks.”

Boult signed off by saying the impact of IPL on Indian cricket, “Yeah, there is a lot of exciting talent coming through India. They have good quality bowlers, it is amazing and it is due to a lot of boys’ success in the last IPL seasons. Yeah, it is looking really positive for Indian cricket.”