India's Rohit Sharma (R) with captain Virat Kohli (L). Photograph:( AFP )
Former Pakistan captain has reacted to the ODI captaincy switch in Team India, which saw Rohit Sharma replace Virat Kohli from the top post on Wednesday (December 8).
On Wednesday (December 8), BCCI named Rohit Sharma as the new Team India ODI captain, replacing Virat Kohli. Many believe it was always coming ever since Kohli stepped aside as the T20I captain post the World Cup in the UAE.
Reacting to the development, BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly explained the thinking behind Kohli's removal and Rohit's appointment. He told ANI, "t's a call that the BCCI and the selectors took together. Actually, the BCCI had requested Virat to not step down as the T20I skipper but obviously, he did not agree. And the selectors then did not feel it right to have two different captains for two white-ball formats. So it was decided that Virat will continue as Test captain and Rohit will take over as the white-ball captain. I as President personally spoke to Virat Kohli and the chairman of selectors has also spoken to him."
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has also reacted to the ODI captaincy switch in Team India, seeing Rohit become the limited-overs captain altogether. On his YouTube channel, Butt said, "This doesn't come as a surprise to me. It was on the cards. It doesn't make sense anyway if he's only the T20I captain. It makes sense to segregate between white between red ball and white ball to reduce the pressure on a certain player. India doesn't not play a lot T20Is; they mainly play ODIs and Tests. In order to reduce workload (off Kohli), the entire white-ball captaincy had to go one way."
"Like I said, there is no element of surprise here. It's a good thing because you will see Virat Kohli's performance getting better because he was extremely overloaded.
"And as it is, the volume of cricket that India plays is very high. The pressure is even higher when all eyes are on him and people only talk about him not scoring runs. For people, him scoring 50s did not amount to anything. I reckon this was a perfect exchange with Rohit Sharma," the tainted player added.
Under Rohit, India will now look to end their eight-year-long ICC-title drought. While India did enjoy considerable success under Kohli's leadership in the shorter formats, he couldn't lead the national side to an ICC trophy. In addition, the BCCI as well as the selectors wanted one captain for the white-ball formats, hence, the 33-year-old got replaced from the top post in ODIs.
At present, India is set to tour South Africa where they will three Tests and ODIs each starting from December 26. Kohli will continue to lead in Tests, with Rohit being promoted as his deputy in whites, whereas Hitman will take charge of the limited-overs side altogether.