Five-time champions Mumbai Indians are set to renew their celebrated rivalry with Chennai Super Kings on Sunday as the two heavyweights kick-start the second leg of IPL 2021.
More than the much-anticipated clash, all eyes will be on Rohit, who is presently tipped to take over the reins from Virat Kohli after the T20 WC. Earlier this week, Kohli stepped down from the T20 captaincy, paving the way for Rohit to finally lead the national contingent.
The 34-year-old Rohit, one of the most experienced players in the Indian camp and Kohli's white-ball deputy, would be the ideal candidate for the captaincy role, given the fact that he has led MI to unparalleled success. He has also captained India in 10 ODIs and 19 T20Is, registering wins in 8 and 15, respectively.
Amid the split captaincy debates and discussion about Rohit's leadership qualities, the MI skipper's knack for winning trophies gives him an edge over Kohli. While Kohli is India's second most successful skipper in the format after MS Dhoni, Rohit has got a win percentage of 60.34 with the Mumbai outfit, making him the frontrunner to take the charge.
Kohli, the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, has managed to lead the franchise to the final but clinching the IPL title still remains an unfulfilled dream. Kohli has so far won 55 (and lost 63) of the 125 matches for the Bangalore outfit.
Furthermore, a jam-packed international schedule and "immense workload" while playing all three formats wear out even the best of the bunch. Rohit perhaps could be the perfect option to ease some pressure off Kohli's shoulders.
Rohit's proven knack for winning silverware
Rohit has already proved his captaincy prowess with Mumbai Indians but a major trophy while leading Team India, in all likelihood, will be the tip of the iceberg.
The Nidahas tri-series victory in Sri Lanka, 3-0 clean-sweep against West Indies in 2018, and Asia Cup triumph of 2018 are Rohit's notable achievements while leading the Men in Blue.
In 10 ODIs and 19 T20Is, Rohit has led India to eight and 15 wins respectively. With the stage wide open, there is a strong case for Rohit to finally orchestrate the Indian T20I set-up.
In the blockbuster clash against CSK, Rohit will also eye a couple of personal milestones. With 397 sixes, Rohit is just three sixes shy of becoming the first Indian player to smoke 400 maximums in T20 cricket. He also needs just 48 runs more to become the second batsman to score 800-plus runs against three IPL teams after Suresh Raina.
Rohit, who has been in stellar form lately, is expected to continue his rich vein of form along with Suryakumar Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, who will later join the Indian World Cup squad.
After opening their IPL 2021 campaign against Chennai Super Kings in Dubai, Rohit's men will take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on September 23. MI are currently fourth on the points table, having won four out of their seven games.