Rohit Sharma’s credentials as a captain aren’t doubted by many. He has led Mumbai Indians to the Indian Premier League title four times and even did well whenever he got the opportunity to lead the Indian cricket team, like winning the Asia Cup in 2018.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli’s inability to lead Royal Challengers Bangalore to an IPL title has always given room for questions over his captaincy. Of course, his leaderships skills in Test cricket are mighty impressive – with India being a powerhouse at home and even winning a historic series in Australia.
However, India’s 3-0 defeat in the One-Day International series earlier this year once again brought back attention to Kohli’s role as India captain in white-ball cricket. With a T20 World Cup round the corner, many believe that Rohit as skipper will be India’s best bet.
Harsha Bhogle weighed in on the matter during an interactive session on his Instagram page on Saturday. The seasoned Indian cricket commentator said that he is not in favour of India having split-captaincy in international cricket. He reckons that such an arrangement would be detrimental in many ways.
Here’s what Bhogle had to say:
“First of all, I think Rohit is an outstanding captain. Anybody who delivers four IPL titles in seven seasons is fantastic. The IPL is a very, very tough tournament, the standard of the IPL is higher than many bilateral ODI series. There’s a new side to Rohit, he displays far more empathy, he’s far more cooler and secure with where he is. He is batting beautifully.
But look at it this way – Rohit has just come back into Test match cricket, he has done really well, but he hasn’t had huge experience of playing overseas. Now he goes overseas, he isn’t doing too well and suddenly his place in Test cricket comes under scrutiny. He starts wondering whether Virat will pick him. Then next day he is himself the captain and Virat’s looking at him. What happens to someone like Kuldeep Yadav, who does he look up to as captain? I’m not in favour of two captains when both of them are in contention to be in both sides.
I remember Australia had Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh but when Ponting became ODI captain, Waugh wasn’t playing one-day cricket. So they didn’t have these two different power centers. Eoin Morgan is the captain of England’s limited-overs sides but he’s not in contention for a Test game. Joe Root is not in the T20 side. So can you imagine a situation where Morgan is looking up to Root and saying ‘do you think I’ll be in the Test team tomorrow?’ And Root is looking at Morgan and saying ‘will I be in the T20 team tomorrow?’ I don’t think that’s good for relationships.
That is why I say that you must have only one power center, especially if both people involved are likely to play all forms of the game. I think bowlers get familiar with one kind of captain.”