'Leading a national team is completely different': Sunil Gavaskar reacts to Rohit Sharma's success in IPL

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Nov 10, 2021, 03:02 PM(IST)

Sunil Gavaskar Photograph:( AFP )

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Rohit Sharma has captained the Mumbai Indians to victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) five times

Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar hailed India's new T20I skipper Rohit Sharma, saying that it is a 'new beginning' for Indian Twenty20 cricket under his leadership. Rohit will succeed Virat Kohli as captain when they take on New Zealand in a three-match Twenty20 series at home this month. Fellow opener KL Rahul has been named Rohit's deputy. 

Kohli had stepped down as captain ahead of the T20 World Cup, where India failed to make the semi-finals after finishing third in the group behind Group 2 leaders Pakistan and New Zealand. 

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Commenting on the Indian cricket board BCCI's decision, Gavaskar told India Today, "Rohit Sharma is absolutely ready to carry the baton forward. It is a new beginning for Indian T20 cricket under the leadership of Rohit." 

Sharma made his debut in 2007 for the national team, initially playing limited-overs cricket before being included in the Test team in 2013. He has also captained the Mumbai Indians to victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) five times. 

Weighing in on Rohit's IPL success, Gavaskar said, "Generally, a captain is only as good as his team. I know Rohit has won five IPL trophies under his captaincy but leading a national team is completely different to leading your state team or franchise."

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"Just like a good first-class cricketer, he doesn’t necessarily turn out to be a great international cricketer. It goes to the captains also, no matter how many titles you have won for your state team or franchise, it doesn’t guarantee success at the international level," Gavaskar added.  

In the series against New Zealand, Kohli has been rested against the Kiwis along with pacemen Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. 

The selectors have made a number of changes to the squad that featured in the United Arab Emirates, bringing in the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel, while dropping all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

The first T20 is scheduled for Jaipur on November 17 followed by games in Ranchi on November 19 and Kolkata on November 21.

India's squad:

Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohd. Siraj

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