Ind vs Afg – 3rd T20I – Did Rohit Sharma retire out or retire hurt amid Super Over drama?

Did Rohit Sharma retire out or retire hurt? That question hung in the air after a dramatic finish to the third T20I in Bengaluru, where it took India two Super Overs to clinch victory against a spirited Afghanistan side.

The bone of contention revolved around Rohit, the India captain, batting in the second Super Over after seeming to retire out first time around. According to the ICC’s playing conditions for Men’s T20Is, “[a]ny batsman dismissed in any previous Super Over shall be ineligible to bat in any subsequent Super Over.”

The match officials have not yet clarified whether Rohit retired out or retired hurt. In the latter case, the batter is marked “retired not out” and is eligible to bat again.

Rohit, who scored an unbeaten 121 earlier in the day, hit two sixes and a single off the third, fourth and fifth balls of the first Super Over in India’s chase of 17. With two runs required off the last ball and Yashasvi Jaiswal about to face, India made a swap at the non-striker’s end, with Rinku Singh replacing Rohit.

If Rohit retired out, it was likely a tactical choice to allow a quicker runner to be involved during the last ball.

Jaiswal picked up an edged single off the last ball, which took the match into a second Super Over with the scores tied once more. India, having chased in the first Super Over, batted first now, and Rohit strode out to bat once again, this time opening alongside Rinku.

Rohit hit a six and a four off the first two balls of the second one-over Eliminator, as India scored 11 for 2 before Ravi Bishnoi ended Afghanistan’s chase with wickets off his first two balls.

Speaking to the broadcasters after the game, India coach Rahul Dravid seemed to suggest that Rohit had retired himself out, likening the moment to R Ashwin retiring out in an IPL game in 2022 – the first case of a tactical retirement in that tournament.

“Taking himself out was Ashwin-level thinking,” Dravid said when he was asked about Rohit’s Super-Over swap. “That’s Ash-level thinking.”

At the post-match press conference, Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott was also asked about the Rohit incident, and whether the match officials had communicated to his team whether he had retired hurt or retired out.

“I have no idea,” Trott said. “Has there ever been two Super Overs? That’s what I am trying to say. It’s sort of like a new… we keep setting these new sort of rules. What I am trying to say is we kept testing the rules, we kept testing the guidelines.

Trott seemed to suggest there was a lack of communication between the officials and the teams, though he addressed Afghanistan’s choice of bowler for the second Super Over rather than the Rohit situation. Afghanistan wanted Azmatullah Omarzai, who had bowled the first Super Over, to bowl the second one too, but had to give the ball to Fareed Ahmed instead. The playing conditions state that “[a]ny bowler who bowled in the previous Super Over shall be ineligible to bowl in the subsequent Super Over.”

“It was not communicated,” Trott said. “We wanted Azmat to bowl the second over again, Fareed bowled a great over. But those sort of things will be explained… because it has happened, these things will be explained and done in writing in the future. If those are the rules, that’s great. I just think we had a good game, and I don’t think that should be the talking point.”

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