Shoaib Akhtar talks about transition phase in Indian cricket

Shoaib Akhtar said if the transition phase takes place then it should be Hardik's responsibility to make Rohit and Kohli phase out respectfully.

Sarah Andrew
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Shoaib Akhtar and Team India (Source - Twitter)

India is currently going through a transition phase. The senior players in the team, like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Ravindra Jadeja, are getting older. It has forced India to look ahead. The Indian team have seen younger players in their recent squads, particularly in the shorter formats. For the Asian Games 2023 and the T20I series against Australia, India team had a young squad led by Suryakumar Yadav.

It is clear that India is looking beyond  Rohit and Virat, which is fair too. After the T20 World Cup 2022, the senior players haven't played a T20I match for India. Hardik Pandya has been named the Indian captain, since then in the shorter format. With him being injured, it has forced India to name Suryakumar Yadav as the captain. He might continue as the captain in the series against South Africa as well.

Rohit and Virat have asked for rest in the ODI series against South Africa. In their absence, K.L. Rahul is likely to lead India. It is evident that India is thinking beyond the seniors. Soon, there are chances of them even retiring from certain formats. Speaking about the same, Shoaib Akhtar has felt that the onus is now on Hardik to treat the seniors well in the twilight period of their careers. 

‘They should be given due respect before they are let go’ - Shoaib Akhtar 

Akhtar pointed out the fact that Indian players in the past ensured a smooth transition phase. The former Pakistan pacer pointed out that MS Dhoni treated Sachin Tendulkar well in the past. Likewise, Akhtar added that Kohli treated Dhoni well during the transition. Akhtar said that Rohit treated Kohli well during the change in leadership. Akhtar said that Hardik must respectfully treat the seniors.

“I'm maybe putting pressure on Hardik Pandya through this but he needs to give that respect to Rohit and Kohli. He is in the team because of them. The kind of favors he has got in the team from them should be repaid. And they are legends of Indian cricket, so they should be given due respect before they are let go,” Shoaib Akhtar said.