The T20 World Cup is less than a month away, and the Men in Blue are heading into the tournament as one of the favorites. India had a humiliating 2021 World Cup after getting eliminated in the group stage. A lot has changed in a year. Rohit Sharma took over the captain’s baton from Virat Kohli. The 35-year-old has led Mumbai Indians to five IPL trophies. Further, he recently overtook Kohli to become the 2nd most successful T20I captain, with 33 wins in 42 matches. The stats and records suggest that Rohit’s leadership is on point. He is getting the desired results as well, but still, India saw a humiliating exit from the Asia Cup, which was Sharma’s first major tournament after becoming the captain. Besides the unavailability of key players, Rohit was criticized for his hot-headedness. The hitman often hogged headlines for losing his temper on the pitch and shouting at his players.
Is Rohit’s short temper impacting his players’ performances?
The answer is yes, it does. When a player gets scolded by their captain, their morale and confidence are bound to take a hit. In the Asia Cup, there were two instances involving young Arshdeep Singh, where the skipper didn’t treat him respectfully. Firstly, when he dropped the crucial catch against Pakistan, Rohit yelled at the top of his lungs at the young seamer. Mistakes are bound to happen, and no player does it on purpose.
Even Rohit must have realized his mistake, but it was too late since Arshdeep had to bowl the 20th over. While the youngster should have focused entirely on his line and length, the dropped catch and the skipper’s reaction must have been playing in his head. Had Rohit shown a more calming nature like MS Dhoni, things could have been different.
Another instance was when he turned his back on Arshdeep during the final over of the Asia Cup match against Sri Lanka. Eventually, India lost the game, resulting in their ouster from the tournament. The bottom line is that no player should feel that a captain is tough to approach. Rather, it should be the opposite. Any player, especially a new talent, looks to impress their captain the most, but getting constantly yelled at, can start a thought chain of the consequences of committing another mistake, which is not a good sign for any team.
If we look at the MS Dhoni era, under whom Rohit played most of his cricketing years, his ice-cool nature always positively impacted his players, irrespective of the situation. The players were fearless in committing mistakes. One of the reasons why India won three ICC trophies under MS Dhoni was his calm nature. So, if MSD can get praised for his nature, then Rohit should also be questioned for his animated personality. Many might point out that Virat Kohli and Sourav Ganguly were also hot-headed, but there is a difference between being aggressive and showing disappointment.
Dada and Virat were more on the aggressive side. They were not much animated to errors on the field compared to Rohit. If we even look at the Australia series, I have never seen a captain so animated on the field. He had moments with Dinesh Karthik, Harshal Patel, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, where he got caught on camera getting angry at them. Several experts have also pointed out the same about Rohit.
Former Pakistani seamer Shoaib Akhtar had earlier mentioned that Rohit must look to sharpen his captaincy and shout less at his players. Recently MS Dhoni also commented on how he dealt with players dropping catches. The captain cool said he thought of himself in the fielder’s shoes and knows that no one does that on purpose. “If a player is 100% attentive, I am fine with it.”
His comments were taken as an indirect dig at Rohit, who too should learn from Dhoni to keep his anger in control. Even Virat’s childhood coach had warned Rohit that he must learn not to express anger at teammates in public. Despite being India’s 2nd most successful T20I captain, Rohit must not let anger ruin things for him and his players. The management and head coach Rahul Dravid must sit with the 35-year-old and talk about maintaining his calm on the pitch.