Is it time for Virat Kohli to make way for Rohit Sharma as limited overs captain?

The debate over if Rohit Sharma should take up white ball captaincy got a shot in the arm after India's second straight ODI series loss Down Under.

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Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

With India‘s fifth straight defeat in ODI cricket, the underlying debate over white ball captaincy has yet again taken over social media. Ever since the conclusion of Indian Premier League 2020, which saw Rohit Sharma lift his record fifth title. Fans and cricket pundits have backed Rohit to take over India’s captaincy in white-ball cricket. This storm has been brewing ever since India was whitewashed both in ODI and Test series in New Zealand.

And Mumbai Indians’ record fifth IPL title gave it a boost before the men in blue’s dismal performance in Australia so far propelled it to the pinnacle. The Virat Kohli led side has looked absolutely toothless in the ODI series as bowlers have been unable to breach the Aussies’ fort. It seems like the charismatic leader Kohli has lost his charm as he helplessly watched India get demolished twice in a row.

Kohli faltering at the helm

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Going into the tour, fans and experts expected India’s star-studded bowling attack to make the life of Aussie batsmen difficult. But the case has been a total opposite as the Kangaroos have completely demolished the big guns of India. Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah, two big names of India’s bowling attack have been taken to the cleaners Down Under. And one of the reasons for their dismal is how skipper Kohli handled them. Many cricket pundits, Gautam Gambhir being the most vocal of them, have questioned Kohli’s strategies. Especially when the men in blue don’t have the luxury of a sixth bowling option.

In such scenarios, Rohit is clearly the winner between the two given how he has displayed how good he is in managing his bowlers. The Mumbai opener not only backs his players but also keeps them motivated. Rohit’s calm and composed approach helps him get the best out of his player. Something Kohli’s aggressive style was also able to pull off but with time, Kohli’s ways seem to be failing. Since the 2019 World Cup, the Delhi batsman has led India in 15 games, losing in eight while winning only six of them.

Rohit’s impeccable record

Rohit Sharma

Rohit has an impeccable record as a captain not only in the IPL but also in Indian colours. The explosive opener hasn’t had many chances at the helm of team India. But has impressed on every occasion he was trusted with the responsibility. Rohit has led the side 10 times in ODIs and has won eight of them. On the other hand, he has clinched 14 of the 19 T20Is he led the side in. To add to his merit, Rohit’s five IPL titles. His top-notch records are best in the league and are proof of his mettle as a leader.

At the trophy end of things, Kohli has no trophies in his cabinet as the senior team skipper except for bilateral series wins. On the other hand, Rohit has the Nidahas Trophy as well as the Asia Cup 2018 in his cabinet to boast of given the limited opportunities he had. In both, the tournaments, the 33-year-old was spot on with his decision making. Rohit is renowned for his on the feet thinking and calmness in crunch situations.

Having said so, it is upto the selection committee and the team management to take the final call. Except for fans, many former cricketers in Michael Vaughan, Gambhir and Ashish Nehra among others have questioned Kohli’s captaincy. With the uproar among fans over the issue at its peak now, if Kohli and Co. India falters in the T20 series to follow, voices for Rohit as India’s next limited over captain are only bound to increase further.

Also read : “The kind of communication which is required in the Indian team is not happening,” says Madan Lal

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