Rohit Sharma says he was “constantly communicating with the BCCI and Mumbai Indians” regarding the hamstring injury he suffered during the league stage of IPL 2020.
Sharma was initially left out for the Australia tour but returned to action after a week to marshal Mumbai Indians to their fifth IPL title, leading to a lot of speculation about his fitness. He was subsequently added to the Test squad.
“I don’t know what was going on, to be honest, and what all were people talking about,” Sharma, who is currently doing strength and conditioning work at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, told PTI. “But let me put this on record, I was constantly communicating with the BCCI and Mumbai Indians.
“I told them [Mumbai] that I can take the field since it is the shortest format and I will be able to manage the situation quite nicely. Once I made my mind clear, it was all about focusing on what I needed to do.
“Hamstring is feeling absolutely fine. Just started the process of getting it nice and strong. Before I play the longer format, I needed to be clear in mind that there is no stone left unturned. That’s probably the reason I’m at the NCA.”
For Sharma, the outside chatter regarding his injury and his subsequent participation in the IPL playoffs didn’t matter much.
“For me, it was not a concern what X, Y or Z was talking about like whether he would make it to Australia. Once the injury happened, the next two days all I did was to figure out what I can do in the next ten days – whether I will be able to play or not.
“But every day, hamstring [degree of injury] was changing. The way it was responding was changing, so I was feeling quite confident that I could play and that is the communication that I had with MI at that point.
“I told them that I think I will be okay to play just before playoffs. If there is any discomfort, I won’t be playing the playoffs.”
India will start their Australia tour with the first ODI in Sydney on November 27 but Sharma feels he is yet to be ready to take the load of intensive cricket.
“There is still some work that needs to be done on my hamstring. That’s why I didn’t go to Australia for the white-ball leg as there are back-to-back games. Around six games in 11  days.
“So I thought if I get to work on my body for 25 days, I can probably go and play the Test matches. So it was an easy decision for me and I don’t know why it became so complicated for others.”
Sharma also touched upon his leadership at Mumbai Indians. The five-time champions, he said, were not created overnight.
“Yeah, we have a [Kieron] Pollard, a Hardik [Pandya], [Jasprit] Bumrah, but has anybody thought why this team is successful?
“Lot of people, I hear say that can he [Sharma] do it with other teams? Firstly, why shall I need to do it with other teams? There is a certain way this franchise wants to go and same direction I want to go as well, both as a player and leader.
“Did this team become good overnight? No. It’s just that this franchise doesn’t believe in chopping and changing. And every player, including Rohit Sharma, was available at [the 2011] auctions. Just that MI picked and believed in building a team.”
Sharma spoke about the freedom he gives his players by letting them evolve as individuals. He cited Suryakumar Yadav‘s composure while dealing with India rejection as an example.
“We were sitting in our team room and I could feel he was dejected. But I didn’t go and speak to him. It was he who came up and said, ‘Don’t worry I will get over it and win the matches for MI’.
“When he said that I also realised he is heading in the right direction, not only in terms of IPL but also in his overall career. There are a lot of India games and his time will come.”