Having been ignored for selection in the Test squad, the India opener plans to warm-up for the upcoming ODI series against the Windies by sweating it out in the domestic arena for Mumbai.
The India limited-overs vice-captain has made himself available for the knockout games and his return to the domestic set-up has been confirmed by Mumbai chief selector Ajit Agarkar.
“Yes he will. We’ll pick the team on October 10,” the former India pacer told the Times of India when asked if Rohit will play in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
“Rohit will play for us in one or two games. The team will be led by Shreyas Iyer, who captained Mumbai in their last two games in the league stage,” an official from the Mumbai Cricket Association was quoted as saying.
India are due to play five ODIs against the West Indies with the series getting underway on October 21 at Guwahati. The ODIs will be followed by a three-match T20 series.
Rohit has been in excellent form in white-ball cricket of late. In the absence of Virat Kohli who was granted a rest, the opener led India to their seventh Asia Cup title in the tournament held in the UAE.
The 31-year-old registered two half-centuries and an unbeaten ton against India’s arch-rivals Pakistan in the team’s unbeaten campaign.
The India batting great currently coaches the U19 and India A teams and believes that the two can create a healthy pipeline of talent for the senior team if used correctly.
“Work constantly needs to happen. It is not a one-time thing or a two-year thing,” Dravid told the Week when asked to comment on India’s batting performance on the England tour.
“I think it is important to tighten the process or programme that exists at U-19 and A team levels. Make it more robust. Make sure there are opportunities every year.
“There is now a path for people who do well in the Ranji Trophy. I definitely feel that in white-ball cricket we have lot of depth, largely due to the amount of white-ball cricket that is played. In red-ball cricket, we have talent and decent back-ups, but again it is a work in progress.”
Virat Kohli and his men were handed a 4-1 thrashing in the five-match series with the team’s dismal batting performance coming under scrutiny. One of the major criticisms levelled against the team was the lack of practice matches on the tour. A three-day tour game against Essex served as the sole warm-up game for the visitors ahead of the series.
Dravid believes that a lack of proper first-class matches ahead of the tour was one of the reasons for the team’s poor show.
“I benefited hugely from having proper first-class games. Maybe schedules have changed and things are more complicated, but there is no doubt that a couple of first-class games before any Test tour is only going to help. I found this 14 playing 14 (rotation system) started happening towards the end of my career. I did not like those games as a player,” he explained.
The 45-year-old also lamented the fact that modern-day players are playing less red-ball cricket in order to balance their participation in all three formats.
“There were boys who came on the A tour with us to England, who had not played red ball cricket for six-to-seven months! It would never have happened before. The time they get to practice red ball cricket has altered drastically,” Dravid rued.
West Indies icon Chris Gayle ended his List A career for Jamaica with a century, leading his team to victory in the process.
The 39-year-old had had announced that Jamaica’s match against Barbados in the Regional Super 50 at the Kensington Oval will be his last in white-ball cricket for the team.
The left-hander smashed 122 from 114 balls before picking up a wicket to help his team defeat Barbados by 33 runs.
In an emotional match in Bridgetown, regular captain Nikita Miller handed over the captaincy to Gayle. The opener went on to hit his 27th List A ton as Jamaica were bowled out for 226. In the chase, Barbados were dismissed for 193 with Gayle taking 1-31 with his off-spin.
Gayle said he wants to play one four-day match for Jamaica before calling it a day.
“It’s very pleasing to get a hundred in my last 50-over game for Jamaica, it’s something I will always cherish,” said Gayle.
“To lead the team to a win makes it more special. It’s been a pleasure representing my country, more so captaining them. I’m thankful and grateful to be standing here aged 39 and still get a century in my last game for Jamaica.
“There’s a lot in the tank to be honest, but there’s life after cricket, so have to enjoy life as well. Playing cricket for over 25 years has been a great achievement, but I have a family now. I have to gel with them as much as possible and watch your kid grow.
“It’s possible that I’ll play a four-day game at Sabina Park. If possible, I will definitely play a four-day game. I don’t know when it starts but I’ll look into the schedule and make myself available.”
Gayle received a guard of honour from both camps as he walked out to bat.