It has been over 18 months since Rohit Sharma took charge as India’s all-format captain, but his tenure has been marked by mixed results. Despite his success as the captain of Mumbai Indians in the IPL, where he has won five trophies, Rohit has struggled to replicate the same level of success for India. While he has managed to win a few bilateral series and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, he has not been able to lead the team to victory in ICC tournaments.
The missed opportunities to break India’s trophy drought in the T20 World Cup and the World Test Championship final have raised questions about Rohit’s captaincy. Additionally, India’s failure to qualify for the Asia Cup final cannot be ignored. It seems that Indian cricket has taken a step back since Rohit’s appointment as captain, despite the team’s strong bench strength.
Sunil Gavaskar, the legendary former Indian cricketer, has expressed disappointment in Rohit’s leadership, particularly in overseas Tests. Under Virat Kohli, India became a dominant force, winning the Test series in Australia and putting up a strong fight in England. However, when Rohit took over as captain in Edgbaston, India lost the Birmingham Test and the series ended in a draw.
During a chat with The Indian Express, Sunil Gavaskar said, “I expected more from him (Rohit). In India it is different, but when you do well overseas that is really the test. That is where he has been a little disappointing. Even in the T20 format, with all the experience of the IPL, hundreds of matches as captain, with a mix of best IPL players not being able to get to the finals has been disappointing.”
The former cricketer questioned the decision-making during the WTC final, particularly the failure to exploit Travis Head’s weakness against the short ball. He emphasized that the commentators were aware of it and urged the team to use the bouncer earlier in Head’s innings.
Sunil Gavaskar opined, “They should be asking questions, ‘Why did you field first?’ Okay, it was explained at the toss that it was overcast and all. The question after that should be, ‘You didn’t know about Travis Head’s weakness against the short ball?’ Why was the bouncer employed only when he had scored 80 runs. You know, the moment Head came in to bat, in the commentary box, we had Ricky Ponting saying, ‘Bounce him, bounce him.’ Everyone knew about it but we didn’t try.”