March 20, 2022
The last time The Indian Men’s cricket team went through a transition, it was rather a smooth one. The great MS Dhoni was in the last leg of his international cricket career and his groomed player, an already all time great Virat Kohli was ready to take over the regins from him. Taking the captaincy of the most loved, popular and successful cricket team in the world is not an easy task. However, it was due to the mutual respect of MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, that the transition occurred smoothly and within few months Virat Kohli was blooming as a great all format Indian cricket captain in 2017.
Though Virat Kohli as a captain had a great winning percentage (the best among all Indian Captains) in winning ODI’s, T20’s and Tests, what lacked in his captaincy era was lack of winning a championship title. Under his reign, India had the best winning platform in ODI’S and T20’s both home and away. Also, he had the best test records both home and away. However, he failed to win a T20 World Cup, A 50 over world cup, a champions Trophy and an IPL trophy as well. On the top of that his personal form fell down drastically in the past two years in all the formats, even if we keep his century less streak aside.
All this pressure mounted and thereby he quit captaincy in T20’s. was forced to quit ODI captaincy and then quit Test captaincy as well. However, this time the transition was not smooth. There was a constant tug-of-war between Kohli and BCCI. While BCCI said, they requested Virat Kohli not to give up captaincy, all these allegation were publicly denied by the star batsman. However, apart from this there was one concern. Who will be the next captain of Team India? While Rohit Sharma was the best option for white ball format, he is very injury prone and still not a great in tests, which created a lot of discussion of who will be Team India’s next Test Captain.
However, all the speculation came to an end when Rohot Sharma was announced as the next all format captain of Team India. He did very well on captaincy point of view against Srilanka winning the test series by 2-0. However there lies a bundle of challenges, responsibilities and a future to build for his star Indian captain and opener. Lets discuss them one by one-
The biggest challenge for Rohit Sharma is to make the transition process of Indian Cricket Team smooth. Team India is now headed with a new coach Rahul Dravid. So its a purely new combo of Rohit and Rahul who has overtaken Kohli- Shatri era. The test team has already seen the exit of veterans Pujara and Rahane and are seeing new entrants of Vihari and Shreyas Iyer. Ishant Sharma, Wriddiman Saha have also seen the exit door, while likes of Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Ishan Kishan are now knocking doors in the test format. (Siraj, already a permanent member in test side). In limited overs format, it might be the end of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan, while many openers and bowling all-rounders are given preferences.
So the biggest challenge of Rohit Sharma is to ensure that this transition which is shaping up the next 10 years of Indian cricket is a smooth one where the veterans are given enough respect before their exit and many new comers are given ample chances to prove who will be the best person to continue the load of a team in the long run.
The biggest responsibility of Rohit Sharma is to ensure that the team culture of Indian cricket team is constant and all the players perform to their full potential. Virat Kohli is going through a lean patch for almost couple of years. Also, now he has relinquished captaincy. Therefore, Rohit Sharma needs to provide him with lots of confidence to bring the old Virat Kohli back in the star batsman. Rohit Sharma too is going through a short phase of lean patch. He needs to also retfy his form as earliest so that he continues to be the star opener for India. Also, he needs to provide youngsters enough chances and opportunities and motivate them to play their best to cement their positions in Team India.
A Future To Build
Rohit Shamra might be the current best batsman and captain in India, but the truth cannot be denied that age is not by his side. Next month Sharma turns 35. Therefore, his captaincy stinct for India might be for a couple or maximum 3 years. Therefore, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid needs to create a team for the future which has already started. However, he needs to groom a future captain and make him ready as his successor. The BCCI and Rohit-Rahul should keep in mind that the next transition should not be surrounded with controversies, rather be a smooth sailing. Therefore, potential future Indian captains like Rishabh Pant, Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah should be groomed properly with ample of opportuinities.
The tasks is in hand of Rohit Sharma. Mainating the reputation of a star opener and being an all format Indian Captain and winning for India continuously is a herculean task. Also, an added responsibility of making a future adds to the pressure. However, of the limited series and matches he has captained team India so far, there seems to be assurance of making of the best team in the world with future youngsters blooming all over it.
Editorial By- Saayak Karmakar, Resident Editor, Interview Times
Image Source- Google
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