Birmingham, June 16: He may have had a dry spell in Test cricket but Rohit Sharma figures big time in skipper Virat Kohli's scheme of things which is why the senior opener was rested for India's tour of West Indies.
If top BCCI sources are to be believed, Rohit can make a comeback into the Test side against Sri Lanka next month as one middle-order slot is still up for grabs.
Karun Nair, who replaced an injured Rohit has done precious little after his triple hundred against England and there are serious question mark on whether he can hold onto his Test place for the Sri Lankan Test series.
On the otherhand, Rohit had scored three consecutive fifties in his last three Test appearances against New Zealand and was only out because of injury and not form. In fact, skipper Kohli indicated that an asset like Rohit needs to be preserved.
"We need to protect him going further because later half of the year we have massive tours coming up, and his batting contribution will be a huge factor for us," Kohli's answer was an indicator that some real plans are in place for the elegant Mumbai right-hander.
Then he explained in details as to why a decision to rest Rohit for West Indies tour has been taken.
"Yeah, Rohit has come back and really had a full IPL season, which has been hectic as Mumbai Indians reached the final. So he got even lesser rest than anyone else.
"But he had a massive hip surgery, so muscles around that area are always vulnerable, and today also he felt a bit of stiffness in his right knee, and we decided the smart decision is to rest a guy who is playing - there's no doubt about Rohit's ability and what he brings to the team," Kohli said when asked about the decision to rest an in-form player.
According to Kohli, after a major surgery, it is necessary to space out matches to prevent a recurrence of the injury.
"So we want him to be careful because after a massive surgery you do need to be careful. If you push yourself a little too hard then it snaps again you are out for 7-8 months," he said.
"I think it's a conscious decision by everyone to give him a break. He is making the most of the form he is in right now and I am sure he also knows and understands the whole situation," the skipper said.