File photo of Rohit Sharma with Virat Kohli. Photograph:( AFP )
After Virat Kohli stepped down as India's captain in T20Is, Rohit Sharma took over in the shortest format. Many now want him to succeed Kohli in ODIs as well. Ahead of the SA tour, the national selectors are likely to discuss the 'sensitive ODI captaincy issue' with the two senior cricketers.
Virat Kohli stepped aside as India's T20I captain post the World Cup in the UAE. Rohit Sharma has, thus, taken over from Kohli in the shortest format. While split captaincy isn't very common in Indian cricket, Team India have different captains in the white-ball formats at present as Kohli remains the Test and ODI skipper.
As soon as Rohit took over as the T20I captain, many former cricketers and experts are of the view that there should be only one captain in the shorter formats and called for a change in ODI captaincy as well. However, the Chetan Sharma-led national selection committee isn't in any hurry to make any changes in ODI captaincy ahead of the all-important South Africa tour, from December 26.
Nonetheless, the selectors are most likely to discuss the 'sensitive issue' with both Kohli and Rohit before taking a final call.
As per a report in the Times of India, the matter the selection committee, led by Chetan Sharma, are eager to discuss the issue with both Kohli and Rohit and only then go ahead and make some changes, if at all required.
"The ODI captaincy is a sensitive issue. There is a school of thought that Rohit Sharma should be given charge of all white-ball cricket after being appointed the T20I captain. But for that, the selectors need to sit with Virat Kohli and know where he stands with his batting. The situation will have to be discussed with Rohit too, because he is also seeking clarity on his role," a source close to the selection panel was quoted as saying by TOI.
At present, the ODI World Cup is far away (in late 2023). Hence, the selectors will like to go through the process thoroughly, have detailed talks with Rohit and Kohli before finalising on the captaincy issue. Thus, Kohli is likely to remain the Test and ODI captain, at present, whereas Rohit will continue to be his deputy in the 50-over format and in-charge of the team in T20Is.
India are scheduled to travel to South Africa as the tour-opener is set to take place on December 26 in Centurion. Kohli & Co. will play three Tests and equal number of ODIs whereas the T20Is will be held later.