'The best man who can take India to an ICC trophy': Gavaskar names 'obvious choice' to replace Kohli as T20I captain
- Sunil Gavaskar feels that with the next World Cup less than a year away, 'long-term' goal isn't the need of the hour, as he revealed his candidate to replace Virat Kohli.
With Virat Kohli bowing out as the captain of India's T20I team, all eyes are on the BCCI to announce his successor. India's new T20I captain will take charge from the three-T20I home series against New Zealand starting September 17 and while everyone awaits the decision with bated breaths, the general feeling is that the name will not be a surprise to people.
On Monday, as Kohli played his final match as the leader of the T20I team, he dropped a massive hint as to who the next captain is going to be. After India thrashed Namibia to bow out of the T20 World Cup with a win and give captain Kohli a happy send off, outgoing coach Ravi Shastri too indicated that the next captain is waiting to take over.
Both references pointed to Rohit Sharma, and rightly so. The most successful IPL captain, Rohit is the frontrunner to replace Kohli as India's next T20I captain and even though a formal announcement is pending, he is likely to take over the reins.
But while Rohit is the likely contender, there are indications that the role could go to someone younger as well, such as Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul keeping India's long-term goals in mind. Having said that, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar reckons that with the next World Cup less than a year away, 'long-term' goal isn't the need of the hour as he revealed his candidate to replace Kohli, who he feels can break India's ICC trophy drought.
"Long term would have been the case if the World Cup was maybe 2-3 years away. But the next World Cup is less than 12 months away so you don't need to look long-term there. Maybe for long-term you can look at 2023, but right now you have got to look for the best man who can take India to an ICC trophy and that is Rohit Sharma," Gavaskar said on Sports Today.
Having led Mumbai Indians to a record five IPL titles, Rohit has a fine record as captain of the Indian team. He led India to the 50-over Asia Cup and the Nidahas Trophy wins in 2018 and has a win percentage of 78.94 percent in T20Is having led the team to 15 wins from 19 matches. Gavaskar called Rohit the 'obvious choice' for the next T20 World Cup and then look ahead to some other, younger candidate.
"With his record for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, he is the obvious choice, so I think he should be given the captaincy and maybe after the next year's World Cup in Australia is done, maybe have a look at another T20 captain. But right now, it is only Rohit Sharma," the former India batsman added.