'He is still a leader of the team': Newly-appointed ODI skipper Rohit Sharma opens up on captaining 'batter' Virat Kohli

  • The Indian team might have gone through a significant leadership overhaul in its white-ball set-up, but Rohit believes 'batter' Kohli's presence is still vital going forward.
Rohit Sharma has high expectations from Virat Kohli the batter. (Getty)
Rohit Sharma has high expectations from Virat Kohli the batter. (Getty)
Published on Dec 09, 2021 03:40 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Rohit Sharma on Wednesday was named India's new ODI skipper, ending Virat Kohli's captaincy lore where he led the national pack in 95 matches and registered 65 victories with an impressive win percentage of 70.43.

Rohit's appointment as the ODI leader came just a month after he took over the mantle of the Indian T20I team from Kohli. The Indian team might have gone through 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 side, Kohli notched up 5449 runs including 21 centuries. He is also fourth in the list of most ODI wins by an Indian captain.

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"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.

"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," said Rohit on the show 'Backstage with Boria', organised by veteran sports journalist Boria Majumdar

Rohit also shed light on his impressive Indian Premier League stint, having led Mumbai Indians to five titles so far. The seasoned opener credited their "gun" players behind the franchise's success, making his leadership role much easier.

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“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," Rohit further said.

While Rohit has flagged off his T20I captaincy stint with a 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 vice-captain of the Virat Kohli-led Test contingent, which will play three Tests in South Africa starting December 26.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022