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‘Jinko bhookh nahi hai…’: Rohit Sharma’s blockbuster remark amid IPL vs Test saga; fans claim it’s for Ishan Kishan

Rohit Sharma’s take on Test cricket hunger among Indian youngsters has thrown the spotlight back on Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer.

Coming off a sensational five-wicket-win over England in Ranchi, India captain Rohit Sharma shared his two cents – well, technically a lot more – on the raging IPL vs Test matches saga that has gripped Indian cricket. With the BCCI drawing the line between Ranji and IPL, dishing out strict instructions that players need to prioritise First-Class cricket than just concentrate on Ranji, the road ahead seems clear. The board wants to balance IPL and Ranji which in turn promises to increase focus on Test cricket for a lot of youngsters.

Did Rohit Sharma say a lot by not saying much? (PTI)

The fact that Yashasvi Jaiswal and Dhruv Jurel have taken to Test cricket like fish to water shows that the future is in good hands even though there is a long way to go. With India already a dominant force in whites and guys such as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma always prioritising Test cricket over the other two formats, the India captain, while answering a question on the hunger of players settled the debate once and for all.

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“This Test cricket is the toughest format. And if you want success and want to excel in this tough format then you need that hunger. It is very important. We will give opportunity only to players who have that hunger. Jinko bhookh nahi hai, unko dekh ke hi pata chal jata hai (You come to know easily the players who don’t have that hunger, or players who don’t want to stay here and play this format. We come to know that,” he said during the post-match press conference.

“Players who have that hunger, players who want to stay here and perform, [and] play in tough conditions, we will give preference to them. Obviously, it is pretty simple: if you don’t have hunger, there’s no meaning playing such players. I don’t see anyone in the team here who is not hungry. All the boys who are here and also those who are not, they all want to play. But the thing with Test cricket is that you get very few opportunities. If you don’t utilise them, they go away.”

But while Rohit made his point clear and did not name anyone, his comments led to a plethora of reactions from fans, who are confident that the India captain’s remarks are directed at Ishan Kishan. The youngster, who hasn’t played for India since the T20Is against Australia in November, has been mysteriously missing in action due to mental fatigue, but having said that, both Ishan and Shreyas’ Ranji Trophy no-show serves as an act of overlooking BCCI’s mandate.

Here are some of the fan reactions that throws the spotlight back on Ishan, Shreyas:

Rohit on IPL vs Test

The IPL is less than a month away, and even though there is no doubt that it remains an incredibly huge part of Indian cricket and a criteria for selection, Rohit was clear cut in saying that nothing beats Test cricket, his viewpoint only getting stronger with the character displayed by some of the youngsters throughout this series. Jaiswal’s twin double centuries, scores of 104, 90 and 52 by Gill and Jurel, only two Tests old, showing the maturity of a 50-game veteran.

“IPL is for us no doubt a good format. But Test cricket is the most difficult format: to achieve success and perform here is not so easy. We have seen in these four Tests we have played, the three wins we got were not easy. We had to work hard, batsmen had to spend ample time in the middle, bowlers had to deliver longer spells. So this is a format that involves hard work,” added Rohit.

“All the hard work that they [the youngsters] have put in the past, in the growing-up years, coming through the whole circuit of playing domestic cricket, playing the local club cricket and performing there, and then coming here… Obviously it’s a big challenge to play Test cricket. We all know that. But these guys, when I look at them, when I talk to them, the responses that I get from them is quite encouraging.”


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