'Can't deliver under pressure' - Salman Butt's indirect dig at Rohit Sharma's performance in ICC knockouts
The former Pakistan skipper isn't happy with India's mistreatment of Ishan Kishan.
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Indian wicketkeeper batter Ishan Kishan recently made his Test debut during the two-match Test series against West Indies. The southpaw got his career off to a good start in the longest format of the game scoring a half century in his second match. The 25-year-old has been on a roll in his career as he ended 2022 on a high note notching up the fastest double hundred in ODI cricket against Bangladesh in Chattogram.
However, despite his record-breaking innings, he was dropped from the team for the next ODI India played against Sri Lanka on January 10 2023 with Shubman Gill replacing him. In the recent ODI series against West Indies, Kishan opened the innings and was awarded Player of the Series for scoring three half-centuries. However, his place in the team will be once again under question as captain Rohit Sharma will return to take the opening spot in the Asia Cup 2023 with Shubman Gill as his partner.
Commenting on Kishan’s treatment by the Indian team management, former Pakistan cricketer Salman Butt recently said that it will hamper his confidence big time as no matter what he does he will be treated as a second option.
"I absolutely agree (that India's experiment with Ishan was confusing). One guy being dropped after scoring 200... what's the point? Either they accept the fact that he is second option, even if he scores 1000 runs in a single innings. That never gives you the feeling of being the best, that never gives you the feeling that you will be rewarded for your performances. Currently, the feeling is no matter what you do, you will be the second option," Butt said on his official YouTube channel.
Further speaking, Butt took an indirect dig at Rohit Sharma saying that some players have been around for a long time but fail under pressure.
“He is not a bench strength level anymore. He's more than that. Secondly, I accept that Rohit is a big player, but some players are there who have been around for a long time but when pressure gets to them, they can't deliver. Especially at the knock-out stages, this is something that has to be worked on," Butt further said.
India facing batting collapses in knockouts since 2015
Notably, India have been struggling with batting collapses in the knockout stages of the tournament since 2015. Rohit Sharma in particular failed to score big in the World Cup 2015 semi-final, Champions Trophy 2017 final, World Cup 2019 semi-final and T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final.
However, the current Indian skipper finished as the highest run scorer (648 runs) of the 2019 ODI World Cup smashing a record-breaking five centuries during the tournament. With the World Cup 2023 beginning from October 05 in India, Sharma will be eager to emulate his performance and lead his team to an ICC title after ten years.