A Test series victory outside the sub-continent has eluded India for four years, while inconsistency has plagued the team in shorter forms as well. Fingers are pointing at MS Dhoni, questioning if he has outlived his utility as skipper.
The question is whether his successors are ready. Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, lead the Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad, but close to the halfway mark of the IPL, these teams do not inspire confidence.
Bangalore are fourth, Hyderabad sixth and Mumbai are languishing at the bottom. In contrast, Dhoni, George Bailey and Shane Watson have their teams in the top three.
As the public address system was being tested at the Wankhede, Rohit made his first appearance on Monday. He had a five-minute chat with Kieron Pollard close to the boundary. Later, as the team stood in a circle for a meeting, the captain stayed a step outside. He may not have had a lot to talk about, but standing with the team could have only helped.
After several rounds of warm-up activities, Rohit waited for his turn at the nets, at the completion of which he headed to the pavilion on his own.
Not only has Rohit tinkered too much with his batting order, he has been unable to find the kind of form he is renowned for.
As the floodlights took effect, Virat Kohli walked out with his Bangalore teammates for a practice session ahead of the game against the Mumbai Indians.
While Virat was more animated with his teammates, he too did not stay back long after his stint at the nets.
The performances of Varun Aaron and Yujvendra Chahal, along with his aggressive captaincy and body language point to the positives the Delhi lad has to offer. Looking at the other side, shaking hands with the umpire who signaled his dismissal doesn’t befit a leader.
In an ideal scenario on Tuesday, Rohit would like to lead the side with the astuteness that won Mumbai their maiden title last season. To counter him, in Virat there will be a skipper eager to show why he is considered the next India captain after Dhoni.