‘I’m not a big fan,’ Rohit said about the Impact Player regulation.

The Impact Player regulation in the Indian Premier League, according to skipper Rohit Sharma, is “not a fan” and will hinder the development of allrounders in the sport. The Impact Player rule, which was implemented in the 2023 Indian Premier League and permits clubs to substitute a player from the starting XI at any time during a match by bringing in a 12th player, has drawn criticism from Rohit, the first well-known Indian player to do so.

“I think it will slow down [the development of all-rounders] because in the end, cricket is played by 11 players, not 12,” Rohit stated on the Adam Gilchirst and Michael Vaughan-hosted Club Prairie Podcast. “I don’t think highly of impact players. You are drastically altering the game in order to provide the folks nearby with a small amount of entertainment. However, if you look at it from a purely cricketing perspective, there are numerous examples that come to mind. For example, players like Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube aren’t getting to bowl, which is bad news for the Indian team.

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Two weeks before Indian selectors finalize and submit the tentative 15-man roster for the T20 World Cup, which begins on June 1 in the Caribbean and the USA, Rohit made his remarks. One of the most important selection decisions facing India’s team management is whether or not to include all-rounders like Dube in the roster.

The problem for the Indian selection committee, which is headed by veteran fast bowler Ajit Agarkar, is that Dube hasn’t bowled frequently recently, not even in domestic cricket, and he hasn’t bowled in the IPL 2024 yet, where he plays for the reigning champion Chennai Super Kings. After putting up impressive performances in the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan in January, where he also bowled seven overs, Dube became a serious contender for the all-rounder spot. Washington, an offspinner by trade who can also bat at other places, has only participated in one match for Sunrisers Hyderabad this year.

The form and fitness of the last two has been a topic of discussion, but India has mostly focused on the three of Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, and Axar Patel as allrounders who can also provide batting depth.

Even in 2023, Rohit expressed his disbelief regarding the Impact Player Rule’s potential impact on the role of all-rounders, albeit saying he “liked” it. Last season, when he was captain of Mumbai, Rohit had stated, “I don’t know whether it will impact an allrounder,” at the team’s news conference. “There is no such thing as an all-arounder. You will always have the ability to bowl him at any point during the game, forcing him to bat. Thus, the all-arounder will continue to be so. Yes, you can always fill the void left by losing a fifth or possibly a sixth bowler or an extra batter by adding that 12th member.”

Even though Rohit now disagrees with the Impact Player regulation, he stated he could not provide the IPL with a solution. “I don’t know what you can do about it, but I’m not a fan of it honestly speaking,” he replied. “There are clearly 12 players available for you to choose from, and you can watch how the game is progressing and adjust it later based on your needs and the way the pitch is acting. You can add a bowler to give yourself a total of six or seven bowlers if you bat well and don’t lose wickets. Many of the teams up front are batting well, so you don’t really need that extra batter, and you hardly ever see Nos. 7 or 8 take the field.”

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