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Why Rohit Sharma is the Frontrunner to Take Over the T20I Captaincy from Virat Kohli Post World Cup

·4 min read

Virat Kohli’s decision to quit T20I captaincy post World Cup comes as a surprise to many, especially days after BCCI top brass seemingly refuted media reports suggesting the same. Be that as it may, Kohli cleared the air with a note on his social media handles citing workload management as one of the key factors for his decision to leave the leadership role in the shortest format. Kohli though will still have a crack at the T20 World Cup trophy come October before Rohit Sharma – so says the rumour mill – takes over. The mention of Sharma in Kohli’s note as part of the leadership group more or less affirms that the captaincy will go to the 34-year-old after the World Cup.

Virat Kohli Decides to Step Down as India’s T20I Captain After World Cup

There has been a clamour for India to adopt split captaincy for a while now, more so with Sharma proving time and again that he is ready for the job. In Kohli’s absence, Sharma has stood in as the captain and the records speak for itself. Add to the Five IPL trophies to the boot and there is no denying that Sharma knows how to win and manage a T2- outfit, no less than Virat Kohli. Kohli himself has an impressive record as a skipper with 27 wins in 45 matches. And during the time, his batting too has not suffered the least bit.

Virat Kohli’s Record as India’s T20I Captain – Six Series Wins; Second-Most Runs as Skipper

However, Sharma too can boast of the same. Rohit Sharma started his captaincy career with four straight wins in the format, something no other Indian captain has managed to do and remains the only Indian to score a T20I century as a captain. Rohit has captained India 19 times in T20Is and has won 15 matches in total with a win percentage of whopping 78.94 and has scored seven half-centuries and two centuries in those 19 games. He has scored 712 runs at 41.88. And during his start-stop tenure as skipper Rohit Sharma has silverware to show for – Nidahas Trophy in 2018.

Virat Kohli: ‘King Kohli’ Trends After The Skipper Decides to Step Down as India’s T20 Captain

To be fair to Virat Kohli, the 2021 T20 World Cup presents Virat Kohli the first opportunity to lead India in the prestigious tournament and by the time he is finished he may very well have a trophy to his name to boast about. However, as Kohli himself admits in the note he needs space to lead Team India in ODI and Tests, it is very much evident that he wants to focus more on himself as a batsman, more than anything else. India anyway do not play that many T20Is for Kohli to feel the pressure of leading in all formats. But, owing to Kohli’s poor run of form in ICC tournaments it makes sense to give Sharma a go, and even though Kohli says he will lead in the ODI and Test side, heading into the 50-over World Cup in 2023, we could see Kohli playing purely as a batsman. And if that happens, the work will have to start early and this decision of Kohli hints that that process has begun.

The biggest factor though that tips the scale in favour of Sharma taking over the captaincy has always been his success in IPL and on the contrary, the lack of it, for Kohli. Rohit Sharma is the most successful captain in IPL history. This is no mean achievement. The IPL is the most sought after T20 league in the world with the maximum number of world-class players. Rohit has led the Mumbai Indians (MI) to victory in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. He took over the reins from Harbhajan Singh in 2013 and immediately tasted success leading MI to victory beating CSK in the final at the Eden Gardens by 23 runs. From 2013 to 2020, Rohit has led MI to 5 titles and made the playoff 6 times in 8 editions.

Contrast Rohit’s great record to Kohli’s ordinary record for RCB in the IPL. Kohli took over the captaincy from Daniel Vettori mid-way into the 2012 season. It was a tough first three years at the helm for him as RCB finished 5th in 2012 and 2013 (amongst 9 teams) and 7th (amongst 8 teams) in 2014. Kohli then led RCB to the playoffs in 2015 finishing 3rd before reaching the finals in 2016 where they lost to Sunrisers in the final. 2017-2019 again saw RCB’s fortunes dwindle as they finished 8th, 6th and 8th. RCB had a better outing in 2020 making the playoffs losing out to the Sunrisers in the Eliminator. Thus, in a nutshell, Kohli has led RCB in 9 editions making the playoffs just thrice. Only once have they reached the final and never been victorious. RCB have finished in the bottom 3 on 4 occasions under Kohli’s captaincy.

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