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SportCricketSacking of Kohli as ODI captain is intriguing

Sacking of Kohli as ODI captain is intriguing

Published: 9th Dec 2021 2:53 pm

Hyderabad: The appointment of Rohit Sharma as captain of India’s one-day international side and sacking Virat Kohli are significant and massive developments.

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There is more to it than meets the eye, since it appears that BCCI is undermining Kohli’s role in Indian cricket. When Kohli himself said a couple of months ago that he would relinquish the T20 captaincy after the ICC Men’s World Twenty20 in UAE, he might not have expected this turnaround of developments.

Statistically speaking, Kohli has one of the finest records as captain. He captained in 95 matches, won 65 and lost 27. His biggest blemish is that he did not lead India to an ICC trophy but does that mean he is a poor captain? He may be aggressive and plays fearless cricket, infusing that in the side during his tenure as captain.

Yet, in one stroke, the Chetan Sharma-led National selection committee has stoked a controversy or a debate for the reasons for Kohli’s sacking as ODI captain. Have Chetan Sharma and Co. passed a veiled message to Kohli that he needs to concentrate on Test captaincy. Social media is abuzz with this.

While announcing the Test team for the tour of South Africa, BCCI did not explain the selectors’ choice but they put out a message in the media release that Rohit would be made the ODI captain as well.

Rohit has been part of the core group since 2017 and both Kohli and former coach Ravi Shastri have given a big thumbs-up for the successful Mumbai Indian skipper to take over the Indian captain’s role in white ball cricket. He has a wonderful record as captain in IPL and he has won IPL championship for Mumbai Indians on five occasions.

No greenhorn as far as his captaincy is concerned Rohit is a team man and has moved along with other members. After a while when Kohli was India captain across all format, India has returned to split captaincy like other countries like Australia (Pat Cummins and Aaron Finch), England (Joe Root and Eoin Morgan). Will it succeed or bring a divide? Only time will tell. 

Rohit’s biggest challenges will be the two World Cups, one each in T20 and ODI, in the next two years. By the time the ICC Cricket World Cup will be held in India he will be 36 years old. The biggest concern could be his back and if an injury would not resurface. There is no clarity on this issue.

As a batsman, the classy Rohit has been the top run-getter while Kohli’s form declines. But if one talks about taking Indian cricket forward, the decision defies logic as Rohit is older than Kohli.  But the new development could revive Kohli’s career as a batsman in the white-ball cricket.

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