Senior batter Rohit Sharma has been announced as the new One Day captain of Team India. He will be replacing Virat Kohli in that role who had taken over from MS Dhoni in 2017.
Although the speculation had been building for months since Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as T20I captain, the sudden appointment and the manner in which it was announced came as a surprise to many. Rohit Sharma had already taken over the reins of the team immediately after the T20 World Cup following Kohli’s decision to leave.
He led India in the recent three-match T20I series against New Zealand. India recorded a 3-0 whitewash over the T20 World Cup finalists in Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid’s captaincy and coaching debut series respectively.
However, according to several reports, BCCI wanted to have a single captain in white-ball cricket. Several journalists reported that the board was considering the idea to appoint Rohit Sharma has ODI captain for a long while.
Virat Kohli wanted to continue in his role as ODI as well as Test skipper where he has led the team brilliantly. However, on Wednesday, the selectors appointed Rohit Sharma as captain while announcing the Indian team for the tour of South Africa later this month.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee also decided to name Mr Rohit Sharma as the Captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward,” the official BCCI release stated.
The manner in which the decision was communicated has attracted a lot of criticism from fans of Indian cricket. Despite his current lean patch, Virat Kohli is arguably the greatest modern day batter Indian cricket has seen and has always shown plenty of commitment, passion and work ethic while leading the side.
Therefore, BCCI’s decision to announce the captaincy change in an E-Mail and a tweet instead of a formal press conference or with a gesture of gratitude has been met with severe reactions from all quarters.
Rohit’s first assignment as white-ball skipper will be in the series against South Africa. The first two ODIs will be played at Boland Park on January 19 and 21 while the third ODI will be played in Cape Town on January 23.
Moreover, the 34-year-old has also been named as the Vice-Captain of India in Test cricket. He will be replacing Ajinkya Rahane, whose woeful form with the bat no longer guarantees him an established starting role in the team.