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Reasons why Rohit Sharma is frontrunner to succeed Virat Kohli as T20I captain

Virat Kohli announced his decision to step down from T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup in October-November this year.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: September 16, 2021 21:06 IST
Reasons why Rohit Sharma is frontrunner to succeed Virat Kohli as T20I captain
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Reasons why Rohit Sharma is frontrunner to succeed Virat Kohli as T20I captain

Virat Kohli announced his decision to step down as T20I captain on Thursday, putting the curtains on a four-and-a-half-year long stint at the helm of the side in the shortest format of the game.

Kohli, in his statement, stressed on "immense workload" of captaining the country in all three formats, paving the way for his white-ball deputy Rohit Sharma to finally take charge of the Indian team.

"Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all 3 formats and captaining regularly for last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian Team in Test and ODI Cricket. 

"I have given everything to the Team during my time as T20 Captain and I will continue to do so for the T20 Team as a batsman moving forward," wrote the prolific batsman. 

In 45 T20Is, Kohli led India to 27 wins and 14 losses with two matches tied and two matches yielding no result, becoming India's second most successful skipper in the format after MS Dhoni.  

Silverware under his belt

Kohli may be boasting a healthy winning percentage of 65.11 in the shortest format but Rohit's impressive IPL record -- especially when it comes to winning the silverware --  gives him an edge over the current India skipper. Having led Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles with a win percentage of 60.34, Rohit has perhaps got a knack for winning trophies. 

Contrary to Rohit's impressive record with the Mumbai outfit, Kohli has got a mediocre 46.69 percentage with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Kohli has managed to lead the franchise to the final but clinching the IPL title still remains a dream. Kohli has won 55 (and lost 63) of the 125 matches for RCB. 

Split captaincy culture

While there's still a debate on whether Indian cricket needs split captaincy, Kohli has possibly given a nod to the move. Kohli's statement also gave a clear idea about him being burdened with the responsibility of leading India across all three formats. A jam-packed international schedule combined with India captaincy across all formats is not a cakewalk, and even a player of Kohli's ability is bound to face the music.

Rohit coming into the picture could augur well for Kohli, who possibly wants to ease the pressure and contribute significantly with the bat. 

Kohli's silverware drought isn't limited to the IPL world. Despite boasting an impressive record while leading India in limited-overs, he hasn't ticked the box of steering the men in blue to a major world championship. A defeat in the 2017 Champions Trophy final against Pakistan and the 2019 World Cup exit with a loss against New Zealand highlight Kohli's agony. 

Impressive captaincy record 

Rohit, on the other hand, has been brilliant while leading the national side in the limited opportunities he's got. The Nidahas tri-series victory in Sri Lanka, 3-0 clean-sweep against West Indies in 2018, and Asia Cup triumph of 2018 make Rohit the front-runner to take over the reins from Kohli. 

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. 

Rohit Sharma's captaincy record:

  • ODIs: 8 wins out of 10 matches; 2 losses
  • T20Is: 15 wins out of 19 matches; 4 losses
  • IPL: 60 wins out of 104 matches; 42 losses, 2 draws

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