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It's apparent who's hungry and who doesn't want to be here: Rohit's stringent message

February 26, 2024 17:01 IST

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma’s comments came close on the heels of a BCCI diktat asking players like Ishan Kishan, and Shreyas Iyer to turn up for Ranji Trophy matches. Photograph: BCCI

India skipper Rohit Sharma on Monday had a stern message for aspirants wanting to make the national Test team without putting in the hard yards -- opportunities will only be given to those who show "hunger for success" in the "toughest" format.

India sealed a 17th straight Test series win at home after beating England by five wickets in the fourth Test in Ranchi on Monday.


New entrants like Sarfaraz Khan, Dhruv Jurel, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Akash Deep played decisive roles in the team's overall success, leaving Rohit mighty pleased and also quite clear about the kind of talent he wants in the side.

"Jin logon ko bhookh hai, hum unhi logon ko mauka denge (We will give opportunities to only those who are hungry)," Rohit declared, making it clear that the team management is not willing to entertain players who do not display a burning desire to perform.

"Agar hunger nahi hai to unko khila ke koi matlab nahi hai (There's point in playing those who don't have the hunger)," he said.

His comments came close on the heels of a BCCI diktat asking players like Ishan Kishan, and Shreyas Iyer to turn up for Ranji Trophy matches, a missive that was ignored by the duo.

"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," he asserted.

The 25-year-old Kishan skipped the Ranji Trophy for his state Jharkhand, but was spotted in Baroda, training with Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya for the IPL scheduled next month.

‘If you want to excel in Tests, you have to show hunger’

Asked if the cash-rich league is affecting the drive for Test cricket among young players, Rohit said, "Test cricket is the toughest format. If you want to excel and achieve success in this format, you have to show the hunger."

Without naming anyone, Rohit pointed out the stringent selection criteria set by the team management.

"Yeh pata chal jata hai kisko bhookh nahin hai aur kin logon ko yahan pe rehna nahin hai. Yeh pata chalta hai. Jo logon ko bhookh hai, tough conditions mein khelna hai, un logon ko preference diya jayega. (It becomes apparent who is not hungry and who does not want to stay here. Those who are hungry, who want to play in tough conditions, will be given preference). It's very simple," he emphasised.

"IPL is a very good format for us, but this is the toughest format and difficult to excel. You have to work hard to win...the last three wins didn't come easy, bowlers had to do long spell, batsmen had to grind it out. It's tough," he explained.

‘We need guys like Jaiswal, Jurel’

Rohit further hailed the youngsters' performance particularly that of Jaiswal, who has scored two double hundreds so far, and wicketkeeper-batter Jurel, whose efforts in both the innings proved match-winning for India in Ranchi.

"To adapt to the style of our play, these guys have come with an open mind and are ready to put their hands up and do it. That is the kind of guys we need in our squad. Basically putting the team before individual," he said.

"Moving forward, it's a big plus for us. They showed they belong here, they have ability, skills to excel in this format.

“A lot of these guys are quite young, you will see these guys playing quite regularly in this format in the coming 5-10 years for sure," he added.

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