Agencies / New Delhi
Opener Rohit Sharma replaced Virat Kohli as India’s one-day captain yesterday, thus taking charge of both the white-ball squads ahead of their tour of South Africa later this month.
Kohli led India in all three formats until the Twenty20 World Cup last month, after which he relinquished 20-overs captaincy which went to Rohit. Many expected Kohli, who remains the Test captain, to lead India in the 50-overs World Cup on home soil in 2023 but the board opted for a single white-ball skipper.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee decided to name Rohit Sharma as the captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward,” BCCI Jay Shah said in a statement.
Rohit’s elevation to ODI captaincy officially brings an end to Kohli’s tenure as white-ball captain, one he took over full-time in January 2017. India failed to win an ICC tournament under Kohli. India finished runners-up at the 2017 Champions Trophy held in England and two years later, they were the losing semi-finalists at the 50-over World Cup in 2019.
In Kohli’s only T20 World Cup as captain, last month in the UAE, India crashed out after the group stage following back-to-back losses to Pakistan and New Zealand.
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle explained with a possible reasoning as to how Kohli, Rohit and new coach Rahul Dravid would take the game forward in India.
He tweeted: “However great a player Virat Kohli is, this is the time to reach out to him. It is inevitable he will feel a sense of loss. It is always tricky with two captains when both are playing all formats and it is critical Dravid, Kohli and Rohit are comfortable and have a common vision.”
In further indication of Rohit’s growing stature within the team, the 34-year-old also replaced fellow Mumbai player Ajinkya Rahane as vice-captain of the Test side. Rahane is part of the 18-member squad that will travel to South Africa but must snap his woeful run of form to maintain his place in the side.
Beginning Dec. 26, India are scheduled to play three Tests in South Africa, followed by three one-day internationals. Rohit, who was rested for the home series against New Zealand, returns to the Test side, along with fellow opener K L Rahul, Rishabh Pant and fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
India Test squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice captain), K L Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohamed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohamed Siraj.
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