Will Virat Kohli's removal from ODI captaincy prove to be a good move for him? Photograph:( AFP )
Former Australia spinner Brad Hogg feels Virat Kohli getting sacked as the ODI captain of the Indian cricket team can be a blessing in disguise for the batting maestro.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) earlier this week confirmed that Virat Kohli will not be leading India in ODIs going forward. Kohli has been replaced by Rohit Sharma as captain of the ODI side ahead of India's tour of South Africa. The Hitman had earlier replaced Kohli as the T20I captain after the latter decided to step down from captaincy in the shortest format.
The selectors were against the idea of split captaincy in white-ball cricket and wanted one captain to lead the team in both ODIs and T20Is which saw Rohit replacing Kohli in the fifty-over format as well. While the decision has invited mixed reactions from the cricket fraternity, former Australian spinner Brad Hogg has called the move a good one for Kohli and the Indian team.
Hogg feels Rohit taking over captaincy will take a lot of burden off Kohli's shoulders and help him perform better as a batter. The Indian Test skipper has struggled with his consistency in the past couple of years and Hogg believes no captaincy pressure can prove to be a blessing in disguise for the batting maestro.
“I think this is a good move. Kohli should just embrace it and relax about the whole situation and should concentrate on captaining the Test team. So basically, you’ve got Rohit Sharma just concentrating on the team he wants in white-ball cricket and Virat Kohli focusing on Test cricket. It takes a lot of pressure off you,” Hogg said while speaking in a video on his YouTube channel.
“Whereas Rohit Sharma has only got to worry about the white-ball environment plus all the sponsorship and other commitments off the field. I think this is going to be better for Virat Kohli. It is going to improve his performances which have slightly dropped off slightly in the last couple of years when he’s been under pressure while captaining all three teams,” he added.
However, Hogg insisted the dressing room should not be divided after the change in roles for Kohli and Rohit when India take on South Africa in their next assignment. India are scheduled to play three Tests and three ODIs in the Rainbow nation beginning from December 26.
“I think it’s a blessing in disguise. I just hope when they go on their next tour, that change room is not separated by this little slight division between these two particular players,” said Hogg.
Rohit has led the Indian team on a few occasions in the past in Kohli's absence. He led India to Asia Cup and Nidahas Trophy triumphs in 2018 and has a great record as captain.