'No Hit Sharma.. wouldn't play him in Mumbai XI' - Former Indian cricketer lashes out at Rohit Sharma
Knives seem to have finally sharpened on the outside against Rohit Sharma's persistent struggles with the bat in the Indian Premier League (IPL). As the Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper and opener continues to fail at the top, fans and prominent experts are calling him out for being on a hiding when the five-time champions desperately need him to deliver.
Among them, former India player and chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth had a direct aim at the elegant right-hander, stating that the nickname 'Ro-Hit Sharma' perhaps no longer suits the MI captain and he should instead be referred to as 'No-Hit Sharma'.
The reference was in context to the experienced cricketer's poor showings in IPL 2023, where the 36-year-old has collected just 184 runs in his 10 innings at a match-losing strike-rate of 126.89 in what has been a high-scoring tournament.
Notably, this is now the seventh consecutive season for Rohit Sharma where he has failed to average 30 or more while retaining a strike-rate in excess of 130. Since the beginning of IPL 2017, Rohit has averaged just 24.59 with a strike-rate of 126.53 over 94 innings for the Mumbai franchise.
Rohit Sharma's persistent struggles under scrutiny
On Tamil commentary for MI's latest IPL 2023 league stage encounter and defeat versus arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Saturday (May 6), Srikkanth made an unabashed statement.
He cast doubts on Rohit Sharma's much-ravoured nickname and called for a reconsideration on how it shall be pronounced on the outside, with a direct aim on the player's insipid performances.
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The 'No-Hit Sharma' remark was made after the MI skipper's dismissal for a three-ball duck in the game's decisive first half where CSK took their firm grip on the contest.
Srikkanth, known for his outspoken, uncontrolled voice, also said he wouldn't have even picked Rohit Sharma if he were the MI captain even as the franchise continue to offer hefty contracts to the player and retains him every season.
"'Not Hit Sharma'. Rohit Sharma should change his name to ‘NO HIT SHARMA’, I will not even play him in XI if I was Captain of MI," Srikkanth said.