Rohit Sharma to replace Virat Kohli as India's white-ball captain?
Senior opener Rohit Sharma is expected to replace Virat Kohli as Team India's limited-overs captain after the completion of the 2021 T20 World Cup. Kohli has been leading the Indian side across formats for over four years. As per a recent report in The Times of India, Kohli has taken the decision to split captaincy to focus on his batting. Here are more details.
Kohli could make the announcement soon
According to the report, the two players and the Indian team management have had lengthy discussions over the captaincy. It is understood that Kohli could make the announcement himself in the coming months. The BCCI sources have also revealed that the incumbent Indian captain wants to focus more on his batting. Kohli feels Sharma should take charge of the white-ball sides.
Kohli wants to concentrate on his batting
"Virat himself will make the announcement... He needs to concentrate on his batting and go back to becoming what he's always been—the best batsman in the world," a BCCI source told TOI. "Captaincy in three formats is affecting Virat's batting. We realize spin-masters will be at work, giving their own twists to these developments. That's the reason BCCI is planning this...in advance," they added.
India's most successful Test captain
Kohli took the charge of India's Test side in 2014 after MS Dhoni retired. Over the years, he has become the nation's most successful Test captain in terms of wins. The 32-year-old was named the captain of ODI and T20I sides, too, in 2017. Kohli has led India in 95 ODIs, winning 65 of them. India have won 27 of 45 T20Is under him.
Sharma has been consistent as a white-ball captain
Although Kohli has been a successful white-ball captain, his record in the ICC tournaments has been under the scanner. On the other hand, India won the 2018 Nidahas Trophy under Sharma's leadership, apart from winning against West Indies, Bangladesh, and New Zealand. Rohit also helped India win the 2018 Asia Cup. Under him, India have won 23 of 29 white-ball fixtures (lost six).
Kohli's international numbers since November 2019
Kohli last scored an international hundred in November 2019. Ever since then, he has mustered just 1,921 runs from 53 innings at an average of 40.87. The tally includes 19 fifties. His highest score in this period is 94*.
Will split-captaincy work for India?
India's experiment with split-captaincy has turned out to be fruitful in the past. Dhoni had handed over the reins in Tests to Kohli after retiring in 2014. However, the former captain continued to lead in ODIs and T20Is until 2017. With Sharma at the helm, Kohli could have the constant pressure of captaincy relieved. This move can increase the career span of Kohli.