There has been a massive development in Indian cricket as Rohit Sharma has replaced Virat Kohli as ODI captain. Rohit was named a one-day leader when the selectors announced the Test squad for the tour of South Africa. According to some reports, Kohli had initially expressed his desire to carry on as Test and one-day captain. But, he has understood why the decision has been taken and is okay with leading the side in Tests and being a senior player in one-dayers and T20Is. Kohli had resigned from the T20I captaincy after the ICC T20 World Cup. Following the change in guard, we take a look at five reasons why the decision of Rohit taking over the ODI leadership from Kohli is the right one.
1. It is the right time keeping in mind the 2023 World Cup
We are at the end of 2021 now, and the preparations for the 2023 World Cup should get underway in right earnest. Kohli has been the captain since 2017 and would have been a spent force as a leader by 2023. He was looking like one during the ICC T20 World Cup as well. India needed a fresh leader for the next ODI World Cup, and there was no point in delaying the decision since the selectors were convinced Kohli was not the man for the job anymore. Rohit needs time to build his team for the next one-day World Cup. India got their arrangement wrong in 2019 and cannot afford to repeat the mistake.
2. No point in having separate ODI and T20 skippers
This is one of the key factors behind Rohit replacing Kohli as one-day captain. Having two separate leaders for T20Is and ODIs could only have added to the confusion. In India’s case, barring a couple of players, the core of the ODI and T20 sides has been the same for a while now. The two squads are an extension of each other. Hence, it is better to have one leader in the white-ball formats for continuity sake.
3. India need Kohli as batter more than captain
No doubt, Kohli led India will passion and grit. In the initial years, the results were brilliant. However, of late, the responsibility of captaining the team in all three formats was taking its toll on Kohli. It didn’t look like he was enjoying his batting. The runs had dried up even in the ODIs, a format he had mastered so brilliantly. India need Kohli the batter more than Kohli, the captain in the one-day format with the 2023 World Cup coming up. Keeping that in mind, the decision to relieve him of ODI leadership sounds like a smart one.
4. Kohli has had his chances but has failed to lead India to ICC glory
With all fairness to Kohli, he has had a decent number of chances to try and lead India to glory in ICC events. However, he could not live up to expectations either as a leader or a batter in the knockout contests. Kohli led to the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy. Not only did India lose badly, but Kohli also fell cheaply despite being given a reprieve. In the 2019 World Cup semis, India again crumbled under pressure, and Kohli failed with the willow again.
5. Rohit has proved himself as a leader and deserves this opportunity
Rohit has been waiting in the wings for several years as deputy to Kohli. And, with the latter unable to deliver in big events, it is only fair that the next best person gets a chance. And there is no better alternative than Rohit at present. The 34-year-old has an enviable record as captain in the Indian Premier League (IPL), having won five titles while leading Mumbai Indians (MI). Even in the few games that he has led India, he has made a significant impact.