If any captain was ever labelled as 'cool', it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni's name that all the fans would have in mind, however, Team India coach Ravi Shastri has bestowed the term upon Rohit Sharma, who led the Men in Blue to clinch a record seventh Asia Cup title.
Not only did the opener pool in with his runs in the recently concluded tournament, but also knew what he had to do as captain of the Indian team. Rohit is no stranger to a captaincy role, as he has led Mumbai Indians to three Indian Premier League trophies.
The Men in Blue were undefeated in the tournament (5 wins and a draw) and emerged as champions in a nail-biting final against rivals Bangladesh, to win by three wickets. They literally had to scrape the bottom of the barrel as it went down right to the last ball and run.
Coming onto the Mumbaikar, coach Shastri heaped praise on Rohit's leadership qualities and said that he has a 'calming influence'.
“Rohit was a calming influence and it showed in his captaincy. To keep his intensity going even after the start they had, showed he was really cool in every aspect of captaincy,” said Shastri, as quoted by ICC.
“The bowling changes he made were really good, to concede just around 100 runs in the last 30 overs, I thought it was brilliant.”
Interestingly, India got off to a 'flat' start in the tournament as they were made to sweat it out by minnows Hong Kong in the first group match. Eventually, India won by 26 runs.
“I liked the intensity with which we played, we were a bit flat against Hong Kong in the first match, but pulled up afterwards,” pointed out Shastri.
The biggest plus point for India has been their fielding, an area which the Men in Blue have really worked upon and later reaped the benefits of it.
“The biggest plus was the fielding, game after game, we saved around 30-35 runs in these oppressive conditions. We took wickets consistently and during the middle-overs, the bowlers were outstanding, we bowled well with the new ball in tough conditions and then the spinners came to the party.”
Clinching the Asia Cup can be a healing quotient after they were handed a reality check by England as the Virat Kohli led Team India suffered another debacle in the five-match Test series, losing 1-4.
Shifting focus on to West Indies' tour of India, Kohli will lead a younger squad in the two-match Test series against the Caribbean side.
Unfortunately, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were not included in the fifteen-man Test team.
India Test Squad: Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur