Should Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli Captain India?

By Dhanu Delphi on October 2, 2019

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have played poorly in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a number of seasons, where Virat Kohli has been captain and the Mumbai Indians, who are led by Rohit Sharma, have done well for themselves winning multiple IPL Championships under Sharma’s leadership. So, who should captain the national team: Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli….or both?

Kohli’s Test Credentials Are Outstanding

During the last 12 months, Kohli’s leadership skills have come under the spotlight, especially in the shorter format of the game. One reason for the increased scrutiny is due to his performance in the IPL as captain of RCB.

Some cricketing pundits, including Yuvraj Singh, believe that it might be time for the BCCI to think about having two captains. Given the fact that Kohli is India’s most successful test captain of all time, he should continue leading the test squad. Yuvraj Singh put it diplomatically and said in order to manage Kohli’s workload, the BCCI should consider appointing Sharma as the captain for ODI and T20 games.

Kohli surpassed MS Dhoni’s record for being the most successful test captain during the West Indies tour. Dhoni had 27 test wins from captaining in 60 test matches. Kohli, prior to the start of the South Africa series, has 28 test wins from captaining India in 48 test matches.

This not only makes Kohli the most successful test captain for India, but the winning percentage also shows that his leadership style is aggressive in pushing for the win at all costs. Kohli loves test cricket and the challenge of battling it out over five days to decide who comes out on top.

Kohli should be able to further cement his place as India’s best test captain with the two-match test series against South Africa. A series whitewash will ensure that Kohli continues to remain test captain for a number of years.

Rohit Sharma Or Virat Kohli For ODIs and T20s?

Sharma has captained Indian in ODI and T20 series when the BCCI decided to rest Kohli, or Kohli took a leave of absence. Sharma has done well as captain in the shorter formats of the game and have proven to be an astute reader of the game and a savvy captain. There is no doubt that he will make a good captain in the shorter formats of the game.

However, that would require the BCCI to sack Kohli as captain. Or, they would have to convince him to step down in order to ease his workload. That isn’t going to be an easy task. Kohli is very passionate about captaining India and is keen to do so in all three formats. The big question that the BCCI needs to answer is whether they believe Kohli has better captaincy skills in the shorter format than Sharma.

If they believe Kohli is the best man for the job, then he should continue for as long as he wants to. However, if they believe that Sharma has better leadership skills in the shorter format, then they have to do what is right for India and give Sharma the captaincy.

Should Not Cause Fractions Within The Team

This is a tricky situation for the BCCI and head coach Ravi Shastri. Pitting Sharma against Kohli can cause a fallout between the two players and create fractions within the team. There have already been reports that Sharma and Kohli no longer have the best relationship. However, Shastri has denied these rumours.

The BCCI needs to make a decision and make it clear that Kohli will continue to be captain in all three formats. This should silence the cry for Sharma to take over the captaincy in ODIs and T20s.