India's white-ball captain Rohit Sharma admitted that not making the playing XI in the first T20I against West Indies was difficult for Shreyas Iyer, but the team management made it clear to the pitcher that the side needs an all-round option in the middle order going into the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Shreyas Gopal, who was selected by the Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 12.25 crore in the super auction, was named captain of the franchise on Wednesday ahead of the IPL 2022 season. However, he had a poor day as he was unable to get a spot in India's playing XI for the first T20I at Eden Gardens.
"Someone like Shreyas Iyer is missing out; it's bad he didn't make the starting eleven, but we needed someone to bowl in the middle and couldn't get him in. It's always wonderful when there's that kind of competition going on, and many of the guys are missing out. I'd rather have that kind of challenge than not having guys available or in good condition "After India's six-wicket win in the opening T20I on Wednesday, Rohit said.
"We made it plain to Shreyas that we wanted that option going into the World Cup. Guys understand what the team wants, and they are all experts who recognize that the team comes first. Once everyone is available, we'll need to sit down and discuss it "Added he.
Rohit also noted that several factors are considered before picking the starting XI, adding that it might be difficult for the players who are left out at times.
"There are a lot of things to consider, and it can be difficult for the players who miss out," he explained. "However, we want to make sure that we send out a clear message that everyone who is performing has to get that run, and we want to focus the team."
The skipper played attacking cricket and got India off to a flying start in the first T20I, but his opening partner Ishan Kishan struggled to get going during his time at the crease.
When asked about Ishan's weak performance, Rohit noted that playing for India comes with too much pressure and that the youngster needs more game time to feel more relaxed in the middle.
"I've known him (Ishan) since he was with the Mumbai Indians, where he was playing in the middle order, which wasn't his natural position. We saw in Chennai how he struggled to get going when the pitch was slow, so we just want to make sure we give him the confidence to do what he needs to do and look for the odd boundary in the middle " said the captain."