Should Virat Kohli make way for Rohit Sharma as India’s T20 captain? Is it the right move keeping the T20 World Cup of next year in mind? Former India cricketer Yuvraj Singh spiced up the split captaincy debate by bringing in workload management into play. Yuvraj hinted that it may not be such a bad idea to think about a ‘different captain’ for the shorter forms of the game.
Yuvraj cited the load on current India skipper Virat Kohli and said the team management will have to take a call on how much pressure they want to put on Kohli. “Earlier there were only two formats so it was easy for a captain to manage. If the load on Virat is more than maybe they should try a different captain for the shorter formats,” Yuvraj told Aaj Tak.
Kohli has been leading India in all three formats ever since MS Dhoni decided to step down as captain of India’s ODI and T20I sides in December 2016. Yuvraj took Rohit’s name, who is the designated vice captain of India’s limited overs side as an option to replace Kohli at the helm in the shorter formats. “Rohit has done a fairly good job. I don’t really know. They have to decide that how much workload Virat can take. It completely depends on how they want to go for the future. It is completely team management’s call,” Yuvraj added.
Rohit has proved himself as a captain at the international level. He has led India to two titles in the limited opportunities he has got as the leader. Under Rohit’s captaincy, India won the Nidahas trophy T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka and they also won the Asia Cup in 2018 at Dubai.
Rohit has also done exceedingly well as a batsman when he has been asked to lead India. In the 10 ODIs that Rohit has captained India; he averages a whopping 77.27 which includes 2 hundreds with one of them a double century against Sri Lanka at Mohali.
Yuvraj, who has played 304 ODIs and 58 T20s for India scoring 8,701 and 1,177 runs respectively, also backed Rohit to succeed as an opener in Tests. The swashbuckling left-hander urged the team management to give at least 6 Test matches to Rohit to prove his mettle at the top.
“If you ask me, Rohit Sharma should have opened in Tests from the beginning of his career. You play him one match and then drop him and say Rohit Sharma is not scoring runs in Test cricket. How can you expect someone to perform without giving him 10 Test? Now if you are making Rohit Sharma open in Tests, you should give him 6 Tests and tell him Rohit, you have got 10-12 innings, go and play your game, nobody will say anything. You gave so many chances to KL Rahul, so whoever is your opener, give him those 6 Test matches so that he can go and express his game.”
However, it is unlikely that the Indian team management would opt for a new captain in T20Is especially knowing that there are two back to back T20 World Cups lined up in 2020 and in 2021.