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Rohit on why India needs Kohli, the batter and leader

Source: PTI
December 09, 2021 22:14 IST
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Rohit Sharma, left, and Virat Kohli

IMAGE: India's new ODI captain Rohit Sharma was all praise for Virat Kohli's 'class as a batter and leadership qualities'. Photograph: Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images

India's new white-ball captain Rohit Sharma singled out the class and leadership qualities of predecessor Virat Kohli.

Rohit, who was already appointed T20 International captain post India's premature World T20 exit, also replaced Kohli as the One-day International captain.


"A batter of his [Kohli's] quality is always needed in the squad. To have an average of 50-plus in the T20 is crazy and unreal. Obviously, with experience, he has bailed India out so many times from difficult situations," Rohit said during YouTube show Backstage with Boria.

Rohit elaborated on his model of leadership: "A captain is there to ensure right players are playing and, obviously, there are a few tactical things that you need to look after," he stated. 

He wants his team to be prepared for the worst, keeping crunch situations in major ICC event encounters in mind.

"A captain needs to be at the forefront while performing and everything else needs to take a backseat. The reason I say that is because then he can make sure he puts his arm around everyone; that's what I meant when I said that as a captain you have to be (the) least important member of the team."

"My role is more on the outside than inside; to give roles to players who are expected to go out there and perform. It happens off the field. Once you are on the field, you have only three hours. There are 11 guys playing and you have to look after all of them. On the field, you can't change too much," said the new skipper.

Rohit has five Indian Premier League (IPL) trophies with Mumbai Indians, but handed the credit to the team management for creating a formidable unit.

India came up short during crucial games in the last three ICC events: The 2017 Champions Trophy final, 2019 World Cup semi-final and this year's T20 World Cup.

The 34-year-old wants his middle-order to be on guard if India's top-order falls cheaply. 

"It was the initial phase where we lost [those crucial games]," Rohit weighed in.

"I want to see that we prepare for the worst, like a 10-3 situation. That's how I want to move forward and guys batting at numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6 should be prepared. Nowhere is it written that you can't score 190 from from 10 for 3.

"Suppose we are 10 for 2 in first two overs. What do we do? What is the plan? I want to put ourselves in that situation. We have got some games [ahead of T20 WC] to try and test that."

For Rohit, it has happened thrice – twice against Pakistan and once versus New Zealand. 

"The quality of bowling [in those matches] was exceptional. It has happened three times. Hope it does not happen for a fourth time," he said. 

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