Should Rohit Sharma replace Virat Kohli as India captain? Shoaib Akhtar gives definite answer - WATCH
Shoaib Akhtar was the latest to join the Virat Kohli vs Rohit Sharma debate. The former Pakistan fast bowler gave a definite answer when a fan asked him to choose between India’s captain and vice-captainUpdated: Aug 02, 2019 09:17 IST
Discussions about Rohit Sharma taking over from Virat Kohli as the limited overs captain of India started doing the rounds among fans after India lost to New Zealand in ICC World Cup semi-finals. The rift reports between Kohli and Rohit added fuel to the discourse till the Indian captain came out and dismissed them as ‘baffling’ and ‘disrespectful’. But that has not put an end to the speculations. The latest to give an opinion on the matter was former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar.
While indulging in a question and answer session with fans on Twitter, Akhtar said there was no need for India to think about split captaincy. ‘Will Rohit Sharma replace Kohli as captain of India?’ Asked a fan, to which Akhtar said, ‘not required,’ making it clear that he preferred to see Kohli as the leader in all three formats of the game.
Not required— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) July 29, 2019
Akhtar further strengthened his views when a fan directly asked him to choose between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, to which Akhtar took Kohli’s name.
Kohli— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) July 29, 2019
Akhtar then further explained his choice on his YouTube channel where he constantly supported Kohli’s case as the captain of the Indian cricket team.
‘I think Kohli should not be removed from captaincy because a lot has been invested into him. He has been leading the sides for the past three-four years now,” Akhtar said.
‘All he needs is a better coach and a better selection committee and he will improve. He will be a sensible choice once he gets the required support staff from the BCCI.
‘Rohit Sharma, no doubt, has led Mumbai Indians well in the IPL. But I think a lot has been invested into Kohli’s captaincy. It will be completely foolish to remove Kohli,’ he added.
Rohit Sharma had scored a record five centuries, returning as the highest run-scorer of the World Cup with 648 runs to his name. Kohli, on the other hand, did not manage to score a century but made meaningful contributions throughout the tournament.
Reacting to rift reports with vice-captain Rohit, Kohli had said, “It is absolutely baffling and ridiculous to read such rumours about the rift. The focus has shifted from the play. People are creating this stuff on outside. We are senior players. People are creating lies and fantasies about the dressing room. It is disrespectful. I don’t think there’s anything very alarming about where the Indian team is placed.”
“We wouldn’t have had the kind of performances we’ve had if the dressing room atmosphere wasn’t a good one. The kind of performances we’ve had is only possible due to the camaraderie, trust and understanding in our team.”