Rohit Sharma Is Not A Fan Of the Impact Player Rule

Rohit Sharma is not a big fan of the Impact player rule: Indian Team Skipper’s Opinion

Rohit Sharma — the Indian cricket team’s present skipper and former Mumbai Indians captain expressed his dissatisfaction with the Impact Player rule in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He pointed out that the rule prevents the growth of all-rounders in Indian cricket. Indeed, Rohit Sharma, popularly known as Hitman, became the first Indian among the high-profile cricketers to criticize the impact player rule that was introduced in the IPL 2023 season.

Typically, the impact player rule allows the teams to introduce a 12th player in their playing XI after the toss. It means that a new player can grab a spot in the playing XI as a substitute. Once a team’s skipper announces a player as a substitute, it wouldn’t be possible to bring back the replaced player in the side.

Rohit Sharma about the Impact Player Rule in IPL

While speaking on the Club Prairie Podcast, Rohit Sharma said: “ I feel it is going down. Especially, the development of all-rounders will be stopped because the game of cricket usually involves 11 players on each side rather than 12. Right from the beginning I’m not a big fan of impact players. To add a slight entertainment for the spectators, you are removing too much from the game. 

But, if you observe keenly from the cricketing aspect there are many things to consider. For instance, players like Washington Sundar, and Shivam Dube aren’t getting a chance to bowl, which is not a good sign for the Indian team.” 

Furthermore, Rohit Sharma shared the disadvantages of the impact player rule in IPL:

“I exactly don’t understand about it. But, I’m not impressed with it because you have 12 players for selection and regardless of whoever is the impact player, you might certainly observe the game is going to take a turn depending on the pitch behaviour and your requirements. Moreover, you wouldn’t require an additional batter if you bat well and ensure not to lose wickets. This is because a majority of teams are batting well in the order, and you might hardly observe any player coming to bat at the No.7 or No.8 position. Also, when you have 6-7 quality bowlers, you do not need an additional batter.”

Additionally, Rohit Sharma highlights how the impact player rule has resulted in the teams easily scoring 250+ runs in the ongoing season of IPL 2024:

“ You need to carefully observe this fact. Based on the stats from 2008 to 2023, there were only 250-plus scores, whereas this year there are already four 250+ scores. So you can imagine how the game has changed.” 

Why does Adam Gilchrist support Rohit Sharma’s Opinion?

The former Australian captain Adam Gilchrist supports Rohit Sharma’s point of view; admitting the fact that the fundamentals of cricket are being compromised just to add a unique layer of entertainment for all fans.

Gilchrist elaborated that earlier the T20 format was entertaining without compromising the integrity of cricket. He means that the 11 vs 11 contest was the same in terms of field restrictions and field size.

The 52-year-old former Aussie cricketer said that before the 2023 season, if a team batting first had a centurion, they had a 75% chance of winning the match. But, after the implementation of Impact Sub, the options of a team securing a victory dropped to 50%.

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Rohit Sharma wants to convey the fact that despite the presence of the best spin-bowling all-rounders in the Indian squad, the same cannot be accepted about the fast-bowling all-rounders.

Despite Shivam Dube impressing with his ability to score runs for Chennai Super Kings, but hasn’t been given a single-over chance to prove his bowling skills in this IPL season. This lack of opportunity could potentially affect Team India’s performance in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024.

For instance, Hardik Pandya is currently the only Indian fast-bowling all-rounder. And if he gets injured, the entire playing XI combination gets disrupted. It is a fact that has been worrying the Indian cricket team in the past; and indicates the possibility of similar challenges in the future. Despite Hardik hasn’t been in his best form during the recent matches of IPL 2024; the selection committee doesn’t have any viable alternative.

Most importantly, Rohit Sharma pointed out that despite the bowling not being too bad; it’s the batsmen’s mindset to come onto the crease and smash boundaries in all possible directions. He feels that the batsmen aren’t worried about getting dismissed.

Even after Rohit Sharma’s criticism about the Impact player rule. It still remains effective in the ongoing IPL season; which ignites the heated debate to the next level about the team’s structure and player development.

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