On Wednesday, the veteran Indian opener, Rohit Sharma was appointed as India’s new ODI skipper, ending Virat Kohli’s captaincy tenure where he led the national team in 95 matches and registered 65 wins with an impressive win percentage of 70.43. Rohit’s appointment as the ODI leader came just a month after he became the Indian captain for the T20Is as well.
Team India has been witnessing a significant leadership overhaul in its white-ball set-up, but Rohit believes ‘batter’ Kohli’s presence is still vital going forward. Since taking charge of the ODI team, Kohli notched had amassed 5449 runs including 21 centuries. He is also fourth in the list of most ODI victories as an Indian skipper.
Talking about Virat Kohli on a show ‘Backstage with Boria’, Rohit Sharm said, “A batter of Kohli’s quality is always needed in the squad. To have an average of 50 plus in the T20 format, it is crazy and unreal. Obviously, with the experience… he has batted and bailed India out so many times from difficult situations.”
He further added, “The quality and his kind of batsmanship is required. Plus, he is still a leader of the team. All those things put together, you don’t want to miss out. You don’t want to ignore that kind of stuff. His presence is very important to the team.”
Rohit also shed light on his impressive stint, having led Mumbai Indians to five titles so far. The seasoned opener credited their “gun” players behind the franchise’s success, making his captaincy much easier.
Explaining the same, Rohit Sharma said, “What I have done at Mumbai is brilliant because of the players I have had. Honestly speaking, I have very little role to play there. The team that I had was fantastic. I want to give credit to, firstly, the management for creating such solid gun players and then creating that atmosphere for players to go and perform.”
While Rohit Sharma has flagged off his T20I captaincy stint with a 3-0 whitewash over New Zealand at home, his first assignment as the ODI skipper will be the three-match series in South Africa. Rohit has also been promoted as the deputy skipper of the Virat Kohli-led Test contingent, which will play three Tests in South Africa starting December 26.