Ex-selectors MSK Prasad and Venkatapathy Raju not surprised by current panel’s move to replace Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma as captain for all white-ball cricket
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Pics/Getty Images
Virat Kohli’s near five-year stint as India’s limited-overs captain officially came to an end on Wednesday.
The BCCI, while announcing the Test team for the South Africa tour, stated that Rohit Sharma will be the ODI captain as well as the T20 skipper “going forward.”
Kohli had decided to step down as captain in the shortest format after the ICC T20 World Cup, but wished to remain the leader of the Test and ODI teams. Kohli will lead the Test team to SA, but has been stripped off the ODI captaincy.
Venkatapathy Raju and MSK Prasad
MSK Prasad, who dealt mostly with Kohli during his tenure as chairman of selectors, felt appointing Rohit as the white-ball captain is most logical. “More than the feeling of sacking, I think this was the more logical thought. We are playing only seven or eight ODI games in the next season. So, probably, the selectors would have felt that one captain for both formats [would be better] because T20 and 50-over players are almost similar barring a few here and there. So, in order to avoid any confusion with the style of captaincy, they [the selectors] would have thought of giving Rohit the captaincy for white-ball cricket.
“Although Rohit would be leading the T20 team, he would have his ideas as far as identifying the core players [is concerned],” Prasad told mid-day on Wednesday.
Former national selector Venkatapathy Raju believes Kohli will play more freely now that he is not the captain of the limited-overs team. “Of late, the match-winner in Kohli was missing. So, this may be an attempt to find the match-winner in him again. And Rohit has led India with distinction whenever he has been given the opportunity. Probably, he will play more freely now,” said Raju.
With Kohli forced out as ODI captain, will it have an impact on the team environment? “I don’t think so,” said Prasad, the former India stumper.
Raju is hopeful the right kind of communication has been had while taking this decision. “Ravi Shastri [ex-coach] had said that Virat may give up the ODI captaincy. So, discussions have happened. I hope this is taken in the right way. There should not be any problems in the team. Since we did not win any World Cup titles under Kohli, the BCCI may have thought of trying out a new captain,” said Raju.
No. of ODIs India have won under Kohli in 95 matches. India lost 27, tied one and had no result in two games