India's ouster from 2019 World Cup triggered many controversies and murmuring about the mistakes the team committed during the tournament and also a possible way ahead by making right decisions. And one of the many was - Is it the time for split captaincy?
Well, in cricket, the characteristic of a team is, more or less, defined by its leader. Be it New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, who showed calm on and off the field despite umpiring blunders, or Virat Kohli, whose 'exaggerated' emotions on the field give camerapersons and viewers a reason to smile. Williamson's measured approach always looks good but Kohli's aggression, sometimes, sends cricket fans into tizzy.
However, Kohli's animated aggression, to an extent, has borne fruit for Team India in Test matches. But his defensive tactics in limited over cricket has been widely criticised.
India will have to start preparing for mainly three major tournaments - T20 World Cup in Australia next year, 50-over world cup in 2023 and World Test Championship. Experts opine that the time is apt for split captaincy, meaning separate captains for limited overs and Test cricket.
Though nobody would contest Virat Kohli’s mettle as ODI player and captain, the only name that comes to mind for the captaincy post in ODIs, other than the world's best batsman, is Rohit Sharma.
Kohli looked struggling in crunch situations in the World Cup. In the match against Afghanistan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was seen talking to bowlers most of the time and making fielding changes with no signs of Kohli in the last four overs.
On the other hand, Rohit Sharma, popularly know as hitman has shown that he is capable of leading a team in limited overs cricket. He is also going through a terrific form and passing the white ball captaincy to him would also boost his confidence and help the Men In Blue going forward with new ideas.
Here's why we think Rohit Sharma's ascendency to captaincy will be a win-win situation for the Indian cricket:
How will split captaincy help Indian cricket?
Leading a team like India is a heck of the thing for any player, all because there are 1.3 billion cricket experts, who are constantly asking questions on every poor performance. Also, the amount of cricket Team India plays, workload management is always an issue. It will be an opportune moment for BCCI to name Rohit Sharma as captain as he has been in good form. This will also help Virat Kohli to prolong his career and won't let the mental baggage of leading the team come into the mind while batting.
Why is Rohit Sharma a better captain than Kohli?
Rohit Sharma has shown his mettle as a captain of Mumbai Indians. He took his team to title glory for the third time in Indian Premier League this year. He showed great calm and composure during crunch situations, which proves his captaincy skills. On the other hand, Virat Kohli has a poor record as captain in IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), where it was also seen Ashish Nehra, bowling coach of RCB, giving him ideas and signalling about the bowling change from the dug out area. Even the stats are in favour of Rohit as he has a 58.65-win percentage against Kohli's 47.16% in IPL.
Rohit Sharma's man-management skills
Rohit Sharma has also shown good man-management skills and took crucial decision leading to positive results. During the 2018 Asia Cup, he asked MS Dhoni to bat at number 4 position which helped India win the title and also in the post-match press conference backed his decision, saying "I would like Dhoni to bat at number 4 position". However, after Kohli came back to lead Team India, he kept on pushing Dhoni down the order, which is also a reason why India lost to New Zealand in semis of the world cup, as pointed out by many former cricketers.
How split captaincy worked in world cricket
The advent of split captaincy happened in 1997 when Australian selectors made the decision of appointing Steve Waugh as the 50-over skipper, while senior player Mark Taylor remained head of the Test team. Australia did taste a considerable amount of success over the years having a different captain for limited-overs and red ball cricket.
After a league stage exit from 2015 World Cup, England started their preparation for recently concluded men's world cup. ECB put faith on Eoin Morgan to make his own team leading into the 2019 World Cup while Joe Root was appointed as the captain for Tests. This helped the England cricket team in putting off pressure from Root, who performed as a glue for the team in World Cup at number 3 position.