Rohit steps into big shoes

Rohit Sharma has for long been the antithesis of India's cricket superstar Virat Kohli, with his calm and composed demeanour in sharp contrast to the previous Twenty20 captain's agitated on-field antics.

Known as The Hitman because of his powerful hundreds and six-hitting abilities, India have turned to the quiet man to reverse their T20 fortunes after being eliminated from the ongoing World Cup in the United Arab Emirates at the Super 12 stage.

With the nation of 1.3 billion people feeling success-starved, Rohit's appointment ahead of the next T20 World Cup in Australia in 12 months and the one-day 2023 World Cup opens up the possibility that he could become the leader of India's 50-over team too.

Rohit, 34, has played more than 300 white-ball internationals and his experience made him an automatic choice after Kohli announced he would step down as India's T20 captain following the World Cup.

Kohli, one of the greatest batters of his generation, failed to secure a major title for India. Under his leadership, Royal Challengers Bangalore have also not won the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Rohit has led the Mumbai Indians to a record five IPL titles since he took over from Australian great Ricky Ponting in 2013. The opener is also known for his 2014 blitz when he smashed 264 from 173 balls against Sri Lanka at Kolkata - the highest-ever one-day international (ODI) score.

He is also the only batsman to have scored two double-hundreds in ODIs.

A host of Indian and foreign cricket greats, including former India captain Sunil Gavaskar and ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan, had called for Rohit's promotion.

"Fantastic man manager and leader," said Vaughan. "It would also give Virat chance to take a breather and just be the player... it works for all other teams around the world."

Rohit does not boast Kohli's "fitness freak" silhouette and has been the butt of social media jokes.

His carefree stroll onto the pitch and friendly smile when making fielding changes are also far from Kohli's aggressive in-your-face attitude.

But the run-machine has always answered with the bat. He smashed a match-winning 74 against Afghanistan in his latest salvo at critics who had been gunning for him after scores of zero and 14 in India's opening World Cup defeats by Pakistan and New Zealand.

In a post-match press conference, Rohit seemed to assert his leadership vision for India, who last won a global title - the Champions Trophy - in 2013.

"Somewhere, when it comes to decision making, we made mistakes, be it with the bat or ball. But again, when you are playing a World Cup, you should be more focused," he said. "We were unable to deliver in the first two games. This does not mean that we are now bad players and a bad team.

"We have consistently played good cricket. Sometimes you have to reflect on your mistakes and then you come back. These guys have been playing for a long time, so they don't need to be told what they need to do in the Indian team."

Rohit returned to the Test team as an opener in 2019 and hit two centuries in one Test against South Africa.

He has since averaged over 60 in the longest format with a highest score of 212.

Rohit, who was part of the team which won the T20 World Cup under M.S. Dhoni in 2007, has always talked about his family being key to his success.

His wife is a regular spectator at his matches with their daughter.

He will now face a high-pressure two years in front of fans who rarely give the benefit of the doubt to a losing team. His calmness will be tested, especially during the three home matches against New Zealand starting on Nov 17 in Jaipur.


"(Rohit Sharma is a) fantastic man manager and leader. (His elevation as India's T20 captain) would also give Virat chance to take a breather and just be the player... it works for all other teams around the world." - Former England captain Michael Vaughan


அதற்குள்ளாகவா? இந்தச் செய்திகளையும் படிக்கலாமே!

இந்தச் செய்திகளையும் படிக்கலாமே!