The Indian Premier League’s second leg began on Sunday with the flagship match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI). After impressing in Tests in England, supporters were keen to see Rohit Sharma return to the T20 format. However, they were given a major setback when the talismanic player did not step out for the toss and was replaced by Kieron Pollard.

Many fans were surprised to see Pollard come off and wondered why Rohit Sharma, a fan favourite, was not playing. Pollard, the acting captain, claimed at the toss that the 34-year-old is well and won’t be out for long. According to various reports, Rohit Sharma is unable to participate owing to fitness concerns, and there may be a minor niggle. With the T20 World Cup approaching, this could also be a preventive measure to avoid aggravating any existing injuries.

At the toss, Pollard said, “Rohit is alright, he’ll be fine sooner rather than later; I’m simply the captain for now.” MI is also without all-rounder Hardik Pandya, but the cause for his absence was not revealed after the toss.

For Mumbai Indians’ (MI) IPL 2021 match against CSK, Rohit Sharma has been rested. It’s worth noting that Rohit had minor knee problems during the fourth Test against England.

So it appears that this is more of a preventative measure, and Rohit will play in the next match, according to Pollard. Fans were astonished not only by Rohit’s absence, but also by Hardik Pandya’s exclusion from the starting XI. Anmolpreet Singh made his IPL debut in Rohit’s absence.

MS Dhoni, the captain of CSK, won the toss and chose to bat first. The most important development for the Men in Yellow was that Faf du Plessis regained his fitness only before the game. He had been injured during the CPL and was unable to play in the knockout stages, including the Final. Apart from Faf, CSK’s other overseas players are Moeen Ali, Dwayne Bravo, and Josh Hazlewood.