'He raised a beautiful topic': Ashwin backs Rohit in criticism of broadcaster

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma celebrates his hundred against New Zealand. File photo: AFP/ Punit Paranjpe

New Delhi: Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has backed skipper Rohit Sharma criticising the broadcaster for labelling the century against New Zealand his first three-figure mark in three years.

Rohit scored 101 off 85 balls against New Zealand in the third ODI in Indore and the broadcasters flashed the statistic that it was his first century since January 19, 2020.

While the statistic was correct, Rohit believed that it did not convey the correct picture as he has not played enough ODIs during that period. "I have played only 12 ODIs in three years. Three years sounds (like) a lot, but in those three years, I have played only 12 or 13 (17) ODIs if am not wrong. I know it was shown on the broadcast, sometimes we need to show the right things also," said Rohit.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin came in support of the Indian skipper and said: "Rohit Sharma raised a beautiful topic about broadcasters, saying that they should be responsible when it comes to putting out facts to the common people. I have spoken a lot about this perception, how it can formulate into an opinion.

"If we look back, for quite a long time, people were speaking about Virat Kohli, that it was 4 years for him without a hundred. But if you ask the concerned person, he would say 'in those 4 years, 8 months were pandemic, then I took my break'. He would be able to tell you correctly.

"If you keep on telling that there was a 3 year-gap, 4-year gap to the fans... fans, who are keen, and selectors and others who are part of the system, they know what's the truth. But if you look at a commoner's perspective, if you force such information on them, they would think 'yeah, he hasn't scored runs. So many new ones are scoring. Remove him'. That's why Rohit Sharma said the broadcasters should deal with such things more responsibly.

"In the 2019 World Cup, he scored one hundred after another. He was the player of the Tournament in the ODI World Cup. In the last 10-15 years, there's nothing to question Rohit Sharma's performance in limited-overs cricket," Ashwin said.

The off-spinner added that he was surprised when the broadcasters called Rohit's 34 from 38 balls in the first ODI against New Zealand a failure.

"In fact, he had scored 34 off 38. He took on the mantle, he started hitting the opposition bowlers. He reduced the pressure on his batting partners. Even when talking about that innings 'yet another failure for Rohit Sharma' was the talk in the show. It was surprising," he said.

The opening batter will now be seen in action in the four-match Test series against Australia, starting February 9.

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