Will Rohit Sharma, the new white ball captain, change Team India’s fortune? That’s the question on every fans’ mind after India’s dismal show in South Africa where India were whitewashed 3-0 in the recently concluded ODIs where KL Rahul has lead the team.
Rohit has captained India in 10 ODIs so far and won eight and lost two and most importantly, India had won the Asia Cup which happened in United Arab Emirates where India beat teams like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on way to the crown.
His record in T20s for Mumbai Indians franchise in the IPL is second to none - where he has captained the ‘Mumbai Paltan’ in 153 games - winning 96 and losing 57 and having win percentage of 62.75 which is very good keeping in mind the high level of intensity and competition in the number one franchise league in the World. He took over as captain of Mumbai Indians in 2013 and struck in the very first year and has so far won five IPL titles for his franchise - one better than Chennai Super Kings lead by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
He has captained India in 19 T20s - winning 15 of them and has the Midas touch and also lady luck with him. In the Nidhas Trophy in 2018 in Sri Lanka against Bangladesh, India were down and out and needed 33 off last two overs. In came Dinesh Kartik and hit 35 runs and won the game for India from a losing position. Similarly, in the Asia Cup final in Dubai, Bangladesh had the game in their pocket and India were struggling as Kedar Jadav scored 23 runs off 27 balls on one leg to steer India to a thrilling last-ball win.
But now captaining India after the Virat Kohli drama, there will be lot of pressure on Rohit as the expectations of the fans will be very high. He has scored 9205 runs in 227 ODIs with 29 hundreds, which included three double hundreds at an average of just below 50 while in T20s, the ‘Hitman’ is the second highest scorer for India with 3197 runs and has four hundreds - a record.
Rohit has got the calmness and the Midas touch, but can he replicate that for India by winning the T20 World Cup in Australia? Only time will tell, but his real test begins with the West Indies series starting in eight day’s time. He has his work cut out and will have to ensure he keeps his hamstring fit to lead India all the way.
- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice-Chairman of Danube Group