Rohit Sharma Age, Biography, career, stats, networth, Ranking & News

Rohit Sharma

KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
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KL Rahul Feels It Would Be A “Huge Responsibility” If He Is Named As Test Captain

KL Rahul, the India stand-in ODI skipper on Tuesday said that it would be a huge responsibility for him if he is made the Test captain.

India and South Africa will lock horns in a three-match ODI series, with the first match set to be played on Wednesday in Paarl. Earlier, the Proteas had defeated India 2-1 in the Test series.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul-Reuters.

KL Rahul Feels It Would Be A Huge Responsibility If Test Captaincy Is Given To Him

KL Rahul had replaced Rohit Sharma as skipper for the upcoming ODI series after the Hitman was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah will serve as KL Rahul’s deputy in the series. Rohit Sharma has already been appointed captain in both white-ball formats and since he has faced quite a few fitness issues of late, KL Rahul’s name emerged as a strong contender for the job.

“I had not given it a thought till the names came out, till the articles or news have been doing the rounds. Obviously, I had the opportunity to lead the Test side in Johannesburg and it was really special. The result did not go our way but it was a great learning experience for me and it would be something I will always be proud of,” Rahul said during a virtual press conference.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

“Leading the country is always special for anyone and I am no different. Yes, it would be a huge responsibility if given to me (being the Test captain). It is something that is exciting, I am not really looking to anything forward, I am just focusing on the present,” he added.

KL Rahul’s comments come days after Virat Kohli announced his decision to stand down as India’s Test captain.
Virat Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Virat Kohli as captain in Test cricket.

Last year, Virat Kohli had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI skipper after the selectors wanted to have just one captain for the white-ball formats.

Marco Jansen And Venkatesh Iyer Debuted  In The 1st ODI

In the 1st ODI, South Africa is batting first and is currently 24/1 in the 6th over after Janneman Malan was dismissed on 6 by Jasprit Bumrah. Venkatesh Iyer debuted for India while Marco Jansen debuted for South Africa as pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada is unavailable.

Venkatesh Iyer (Getty)
Venkatesh Iyer (Getty)

Rohit Sharma is injured and isn’t playing in the ODI series while pacer Kagiso Rabada was released to manage his workload. KL Rahul captaining India for the first time in his 39th ODI. Kagiso Rabada has been released from the ODI squad ahead of the 3-match series against India to manage his heavy workload in the Test series. The 26-year old has been rested to stay fresh for 2-match test series in New Zealand starting on February 17.

Kagiso Rabada was the leading wicket-taker in the Test series against India as South Africa beat the visitors by 2-1 in a 3-match series. Kagiso Rabada bowled 119.1 overs to pick 20 wickets with an average of 19.05. Marco Jansen made a sensational debut in the Test series as a 21-year old picked 19 wickets and is debuting in the 1st ODI.

India Squad Playing XI:  KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
South Africa Squad Playing XI: Quinton de Kock (wk), Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, Temba Bavuma (c), Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi
Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP
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Rohit Sharma Should Lead India Across All Formats: Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir is of the firm view that the Indian cricket team should have one captain across formats and in his view, Rohit Sharma should lead India across all formats.

Rohit Sharma took over the T20I captaincy from Virat Kohli following India’s T20I World Cup 2021 unceremonious exit and later replaced him as captain in the 50-over format as well. KL Rahul led India in the second South Africa Test after Virat Kohli missed the match due to injury. KL Rahul is also leading India in the three one-day matches in South Africa after Rohit Sharma failed to recover from an injury, missing both Test and ODI series.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma  — Twitter

Gautam Gambhir: Rohit Sharma Should Lead India Across All Formats As One Captain Will Ensure Consistency

Rohit Sharma, India’s white-ball captain is recovering well from his left hamstring injury and has a bright chance of making a comeback for the six-match home limited-overs series against the West Indies next month. Rohit Sharma, who was also the designated Test vice-captain for the tour of South Africa, sustained a left hamstring strain during a net session just prior to the team’s departure for the tour and had to pull out from both Test and ODI matches.

In his column, Gautam Gambhir wrote, “In my book, Rohit Sharma should lead India across all formats with Rahul as his deputy. One captain across formats will ensure consistency in style and approach of the Indian team especially considering that we have another T20 World Cup later this year.”

On Saturday, Virat Kohli stepped down as India captain following the team’s 1-2 series loss in South Africa. With 40 wins and 17 losses in 68 Tests as captain, Virat Kohli is India’s most successful Test leader.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

“Between the last Test and ODI series, the news space has been hogged by Virat resigning from Test captaincy. I think it is an individual’s call and that is how it should be treated. I think Virat left the Indian Test team is good health but I can’t say the same about white-ball cricket,” Gautam Gambhir added.

“Our bowling resources in Test matches are a neighbour’s envy and owner’s pride. They have showed time and again that they are the engine room for a team’s performance. In limited overs cricket, I’d have liked to see a more settled middle-order, which Virat could not create,” Gautam Gambhir added.

Rohit Sharma, who was named ODI captain earlier this month replacing Virat Kohli, was to travel to South Africa as vice-captain for the Test series which began on December 26 but a hamstring injury during training ruled him out. He had taken charge as T20I captain against New Zealand last month.

Gautam Gambhir Hopes Shikhar Dhawan Is Included In The ODI XI Against Proteas

On the ODI series starting on Wednesday 19th January, Gautam Gambhir hoped that opener Shikhar Dhawan is not left out from India playing XI.

“Shikhar Dhawan is a sensation on social media. He has close to 10 million followers on Instagram alone, which is almost ten times more than the population of Gurugram where he now lives. I’d recommend that there is something for everyone on his Insta handle. There are fitness videos, dancing videos with his mother, dubsmash videos and there is also a video where Shikhar is playing the flute with perhaps his Guru,” Gautam Gambhir observed.

Not in the scheme of things in any other format, this series may be the last chance for Shikhar Dhawan to salvage his ODI career. Shikhar Dhawan has been an enigma. Over 6000 ODI runs with 17 centuries at an average of 45. 55 while striking at 93. 79 are enviable numbers.  He has not played in India colours since leading a second-string team on a white-ball tour of Sri Lanka in July last year.

“Trust me, it’s an absolute delight, all notes are in proper place just like a perfectly struck left-hander’s cover drive with the bat finishing on his right shoulder. How good it will be to see him translate his social media form on the playing field. It is a grand opportunity for him in South Africa. I am not a great believer in age and all that,” Gautam Gambhir added.

“His critics are saying that at 36, Indian cricket should look beyond Shikhar. My worry is the lack of runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. I hope he can put it all behind him and put his best foot forward. There is a school of thought that Shikhar should not be played in the final eleven. I think that will be a disaster. Why would you take Shikhar to South Africa and then leave him on the bench? It will make no sense at all,” Gautam Gambhir opined.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Calling for the inclusion of both Ravichandran Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal in the playing XI, Gautam Gambhir wrote that he would be looking forward to the performance of Prasidh Krishna on the bouncy pitches of South Africa in the ODI series.

“After KL Rahul, Shikhar, and Virat Kohli, India should continue to play Surya Kumar Yadav at No. 4, Shreyas Iyer at No. 5, Rishabh Pant at 6. I am extremely inclined to use the experience of R Ashwin in my bowling department with Chahal being the other spinner.”

“Fast bowling duties need to be performed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Prasidh Krishna, and Jasprit Bumrah. I’d be keen to see how Prasidh goes on the bouncy tracks of South Africa. He has conditions in his favour, let’s see if he can translate promise into performance,” Gautam Gambhir signed off.

Prasidh Krishna has impressed one and all in his short international career with his ability to regularly touch 140 kmph. Prasidh Krishna made his ODI debut against England and picked up 4 wickets on debut. He ended with figures of 4/54 in 8 overs and broke the Indian record for most wickets in an ODI debut.

File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP
File image of former India captain Sunil Gavaskar | AFP

You Need A Player Who Remains Fit – Sunil Gavaskar Explains Why Rohit Sharma Is Not The Best Candidate To Take Over From Virat Kohli

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has expressed his opinions regarding India’s next test captain who can take over from Virat Kohli who recently resigned from the role after his tenure for more than 7 years. Gavaskar believes that Rohit Sharma shouldn’t be an automatic choice for the next test captain.

Notable that Rohit Sharma has already been appointed India’s ODI and T20I captain. But he is recovering from an injury, KL Rahul will lead India in 3-match series against South Africa. Gavaskar feels that Rohit has too many fitness issues as he is likely to miss many tests for India which won’t give any stability to India’s test team.

Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sunil Gavaskar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“No board would want that its captain’s hands should be tied”- Sunil Gavaskar

Notable that Rohit Sharma missed two tests in Australia last season while he missed two test matches against New Zealand as well as he opted for Test and again as the team was all set to travel to South Africa, he was ruled out for the series due to a hamstring injury. Gavaskar compared him with Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews as the all-rounder who missed many matches in his career due to injury.

“The problem with Rohit is that he has fitness issues. So you need a player who remains fit and is available for all matches. If you remember, Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews had the same issue with a hamstring. And with that, when you try to run fast or take a quick single, the injury resurfaces,” Gavaskar spoke on Sports Tak.

“If that is to happen, you may be forced to name someone else captain. So it’s better to pick a player who instead has external injuries. But with Rohit, this cycle of picking up regular injuries is why I am doubtful about him. This is why I feel that only a player who features in all formats should be made captain,” he added.

Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Gavaskar also slammed the reports which stated that the BCCI put pressure on Virat Kohli to resign from the role.

“No board would want that its captain’s hands should be tied. Sourav Ganguly, the president was a captain himself, so he wouldn’t do anything that would trouble the Indian skipper. Sure, at times there might be a few disagreements but I cannot even imagine something like that happening in Indian cricket,” he said.

India’s next assignment in Test Cricket will be a 2-match against Sri Lanka at home, starting on February 25.

Also read You Will Always Be My Captain – Mohammed Siraj Posts An Emotional Note For Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
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Virat Kohli’s Childhood Coach Rajkumar Sharma Revealed Former’s Decision To Step Down As Test Skipper Was Not Taken In Haste

Virat Kohli recently stepped down as Test skipper. Virat Kohli’s childhood coach, Rajkumar Sharma, recently revealed that the star cricketer’s decision to relinquish the Test captaincy was not a hasty one. Rajkumar Sharma mentioned that the 33-year-old did a lot of thinking before arriving at the decision.

Speaking on YouTube show Khelneeti, Rajkumar Sharma pointed out that the former skipper prefers avoiding controversies. He also remarked that the champion batter wants to remain away from any kind of politics and would rather concentrate on contributing to the team’s success.

Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Virat Kohli Has Thought A Lot To Relinquish The Test Captaincy As He Doesn’t Want To Be Involved In Controversies: Rajkumar Sharma

Virat Kohli sent shockwaves across the cricketing world on Saturday, January 15, by resigning as India’s most successful Test captain with 40 wins in 68 matches following the team’s series loss to South Africa. He took to his social media accounts to make the shocking announcement.

Rajkumar Sharma said: “Kohli has taken the decision to relinquish the Test captaincy after a lot of thinking. He wants to enjoy his game and move on from here. He does not want to be in any controversy or indulge in any politics.”

Rajkumar Sharma also confirmed that nobody from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) asked Virat Kohli not to step down from the Test captaincy. He opined that everybody accepted his decision as it was his personal call to not continue as skipper.

Rajkumar Sharma with Virat Kohli(Getty Images)
Rajkumar Sharma with Virat Kohli(Getty Images)

“Nobody stopped Virat from resigning. Everybody accepted his decision, considering it was his personal choice to step down. I don’t think anybody felt the need to ask him to continue.”

He added that Virat Kohli seemed “very relaxed” after giving up the captaincy. Virat Kohli leaves captaincy with India at the top in the Test rankings and boasts of the best record among all Indian captains in the longest format.  He holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40).

Rajkumar Sharma: Virat Kohli Wants To Be Relaxed And Concentrate On Road Ahead As A Batsman

Rajkumar Sharma noted that the right-hander wants to focus on his game. Rajkumar Sharma feels that the player can contribute significantly with this mindset and it would benefit the Indian team.

“He is quite relaxed and wants to concentrate on his game. It is good for the team if he is relaxed, as then he will be able to contribute more.” – Sharma stated.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma—Twitter

It is worth mentioning that Virat Kohli had given up T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE. He was later removed as ODI skipper in December last year. While Rohit Sharma has replaced him as the team’s new white-ball skipper, the BCCI is yet to announce Virat Kohli’s successor in the longer format.

The batsman will be next seen in action in the 3 match ODI series against South Africa, which begins on January 19. The series will also mark his first ODI appearance since being succeeded as captain by Rohit Sharma. However, the Mumbai-born Sharma will remain absent from the series due to fitness issues and KL Rahul will lead the team.

When India takes the field in Paarl on Wednesday 19th January, it will be the first time in any format since October 2016 that Virat Kohli will be playing only as a player and not as captain. Since the start of 2020, Virat Kohli has scored 560 runs in 12 ODIs, at an average of 46.66 and a strike rate of 90.90.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Rohit Sharma Is Expected To Be Ready For West Indies Limited-Overs Series

Rohit Sharma, India’s white-ball captain is recovering well from his left hamstring injury and has a bright chance of making a comeback for the six-match home limited-overs series against the West Indies next month.

Rohit Sharma, who was also the designated Test vice-captain for the tour of South Africa, sustained a left hamstring strain during a net session just prior to the team’s departure for the tour and had to pull out.

Rohit Sharma, India
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

Rohit Sharma Is Expected To Be Ready For West Indies 3 ODI And 3 T20I Series After Missing Entire Proteas Tour For Hamstring Injury

He was subsequently also forced to skip the ODIs in South Africa, starting this Wednesday, as he couldn’t attain full fitness before the selection committee announced the team.

“Rohit’s rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) is going pretty well. He is expected to be okay for the West Indies series. It’s still close to three weeks from now before the first ODI is played in Ahmedabad on February 6,” a BCCI source privy to developments said on conditions of anonymity.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP

The series against the West Indies comprises three ODIs and as many T20 internationals. The one-dayers will be played from February 6 to 12, followed by the T20Is from February 15 to 20.

The hamstring has been a recurrent problem for Rohit Sharma which also forced him to miss the first two Test matches as well as the white-ball leg of the tour of Australia in 2020-21. He did make a comeback for the final two Tests after serving a two-week hard quarantine in Sydney for the last two Test matches.

Currently, as per BCCI’s policy, each and every player has to mandatorily appear for fitness tests at the NCA before being awarded ‘fit to play’ certificates. The selection committee is informed about their availability only after this exercise. With Virat Kohli now having relinquished captaincy even from the Test format, there is a greater need for Rohit Sharma to remain injury-free in the current set-up.

Rohit Sharma Is In Excellent Form And Is Tipped To Be All-Time Skipper Despite Fitness Concerns And More Age

It has been an open secret in recent years that apart from being one of the best performers across formats, Rohit Sharma has been a few notches above his peers in terms of acceptance of one and all in this team. Having learned the ropes of captaincy handling Mumbai Indians in the IPL, Rohit Sharma’s man-management is seen closer to MS Dhoni’s style.

Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit winning it for the sixth time. , BCCI/IPL Twitter handle
Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians created history as they won the IPL title for the fifth time, with Rohit winning it for the sixth time. , BCCI/IPL Twitter handle.

While KL Rahul, because of his age, is being considered a long-term all-format leader, something which might also have the backing of head coach Rahul Dravid, what will go in Rohit Sharma’s favour, despite the fitness and age concern, is his excellent form across formats.

“Rohit Sharma should be the bridge before BCCI is confident about the next young India captain that they want the team to lead for at least five years. This ICC World Test Championship cycle should be about giving it to an experienced hand rather than someone, whose leadership credentials aren’t proven enough,” a senior BCCI official said.

Rohit Sharma has been advised by experts at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to reduce weight. The reason is his slimmer version will put less pressure on his troublesome hamstring & knee. The injured knee & hamstring has led him to miss a few matches of IPL 2021, India Tour of Australia & now the ongoing India tour of South Africa.

Rohit Sharma is currently working very hard at the NCA. He is currently training with his India teammates Ravindra Jadeja and Sanju Samson among other cricketers.

Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
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Jasprit Bumrah Opens Up On Virat Kohli’s Decision To Step Down As Skipper After 40 Wins In 68 Tests

Jasprit Bumrah opened up about Virat Kohli’s decision to step down from Test captaincy after India’s 2-1 Test series defeat against South Africa, last week.

Revealing that Virat Kohli had talked to the team members regarding his decision to step down from the role, Bumrah remained tight-lipped on the proceedings, calling it a personal decision.

Jasprit Bumrah AP Photo/Rui Vieira
Jasprit Bumrah AP Photo/Rui Vieira

Jasprit Bumrah  Revealed It’s Been A Pleasure To Play Under Virat Kohli’s Captaincy

Virat Kohli had stepped down from the Test captaincy role after the Test series ended in Cape Town, marking an end of an era of an astute leader in Indian cricket. Kohli had earlier relinquished his T20I captaincy role in November and a month later was removed from the ODI captaincy position with the selectors naming Rohit Sharma – the new white-ball captain.

“Virat Kohli told us about leaving his Test captaincy in a team meeting. It’s his decision. He knows his body. He knows his frame of mind. We respect that. It’s been a pleasure to play under his captaincy. I made my debut under him”

“He brought in energy. He brought in the fitness culture. He was driven. Everybody moved in one direction under his leadership. He has been immense and he will still be immense with his inputs,” said Bumrah ahead of the start of the three-match ODI series in Paarl against South Africa.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

“We understand the change. All of us have played enough cricket. As a team, we will make positive contributions to that,” he added.

Talking about the ODI series, Jasprit Bumrah will feature in the vice-captaincy role while KL Rahul will be leading the Indian team after Rohit Sharma failed to recover in time from his hamstring injury.  India will play two of the three ODIs in Paarl, starting January 19, and the final tie will be played in Cape Town.

Virat Kohli Stepped Down As India’s Most Successful Test Skipper

Jasprit Bumrah has lauded Virat Kohli’s contribution as the captain of the Indian Test team. The latter on Saturday decided to step down from his post after serving the team for seven long years. Virat Kohli, through a social media post, announced his decision that took the entire cricketing world and fans by surprise.

Virat Kohli’s decision comes a day after India was defeated by South Africa in the Cape Town Test by 7 wickets. The tourists slumped from taking a 1-0 lead to lose the series 2-1. The 33-year-old led India in 68 games and won 40, becoming the country’s most successful Test captain in the process.

Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh
Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh

He led in 68 Test matches out of which the team registered victory in 40 games. He steps down from his role as India’s most successful Test captain. He is fourth in the list of captains with the most Test wins behind South Africa’s Graeme Smith (53) and Australian greats Ricky Ponting (43) and Steve Waugh (41).

Last year, the 33-year-old had stepped down as the T20I captain and then he was removed as the ODI leader later as the selectors wanted only one captain for the white-ball format.

Dilip Vengsarkar, Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
Rohit Sharma celebrates his century during the fourth Test against England. (Twitter/BCCI)
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“I Would Appoint Rohit Sharma Or Ravichandran Ashwin As A Stop-Gap Captain”- Dilip Vengsarkar

“I Would Appoint Rohit Sharma Or Ravichandran Ashwin As A Stop-Gap Captain”- Dilip Vengsarkar: Former India batter Dilip Vengsarkar has opined his views regarding India’s new Test captain as Virat Kohli stepped down from the role after the series against South Africa. So the question of the hour- who should take over from India’s most successful test captain?

There is no clear frontrunner for the job as every candidate has their own pros and cons. Two names who are hot favorites- are Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. Rohit Sharma has already been appointed as white-ball skipper for India so giving him the responsibility of test captaincy might be too much on the plate for him. He also missed quite a few test matches in the last year or so due to injury.

Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma has already been appointed as the white-ball captain for India

Another candidate would be KL Rahul who captained India in the second test match against South Africa in absence of Virat Kohli. But will it be too early for him as he wasn’t even part of playing XI in India Test set-up 8 months back?

Dilip Vengsarkar believes that India should take a conservation call to appoint Rohit Sharma or R Ashwin as test captain for the short-term as KL Rahul or Rishabh Pant is too young for the job.

“I would appoint Rohit or Ashwin as a stop-gap captain and groom the future captain. Right now, you need somebody with captaincy experience and an assured place in the Test side. Rohit and Ashwin have established themselves in Test cricket,” Vengsarkar spoke to TOI.

Dhoni and Ashwin
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“Pant, Rahul, or Shreyas need another Shreyas (Iyer) need another year before they will be ready for the job. Pant had proved his mettle, but needs to work on his shot selection. Till then, either of them can be asked to captain India in the white-ball format, and be the vice-captain in Tests. That ways, they will get to observe and learn how to lead the Indian team,” he added.

He gave an example of his own experience as a BCCI selector when he appointed Anil Kumble as a Test captain in 2007 to give another year to MS Dhoni. Dhoni was already leading India in limited-overs cricket then.

“We wanted to give some time to Dhoni before he took the Test captaincy. He was already the white ball captain, and we wanted him to learn a few things by following Kumble closely. Kumble led India superbly in that period,” he recalled.

Dhoni took over the job in 2008 as Kumble had called it a day from international cricket midway in a series against Australia as he suffered a finger injury.

Also read Virat Kohli Pushes Himself To The Maximum- Simon Katich

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Rohit Sharma, India
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter
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Rohit Sharma Most Obvious Choice To Be Test Captain But There Are Serious Questions About His Fitness: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra, former India opener has pointed out an important aspect about the Mumbai cricketer Rohit Sharma– his fitness. Several experts have backed Rohit Sharma, who is leading India in the limited-overs format, to take over the responsibilities in the longest format as well.

Rohit Sharma was scheduled to travel to South Africa as Virat Kohli’s deputy in the Test series and then would have led the side in the 3 ODIs. However, a hamstring injury ruled him out of the entire tour. Aakash Chopra, in his latest YouTube video, highlighted right-hand senior batter is an obvious choice but his fitness is a big question.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

Aakash Chopra: There Are Serious Questions About Rohit Sharma’s Fitness For Hamstring Has Been Troubling Him Since 2020

The discussion on India’s next Test captain is getting more intense with every passing day. The experts are coming up with different names for the post vacated by Virat Kohli on Saturday. A day after losing the Cape Town Test, the Delhi-born cricketer took to social media and made the shocking announcement. Ever since he has stepped down, a number of suggestions have cropped up to fill in the space.

“Rohit Sharma seems to be the most obvious choice because he is the ODI and T20I captain at the moment and the last one year was a watershed event for him in Tests. But there are serious questions about his fitness because the hamstring is troubling him since 2020. In theory, it seems alright but will he be able to remain fit?” Aakash Chopra said.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma’s hamstring injury, after replacing Ajinkya Rahane as Test vice-captain, ruled him out of the South Africa tour. It is known to have forced the selectors to have a long hard look at his fitness levels and workload. Rohit Sharma’s left hamstring injury had also prevented him from playing in all the matches in the 2020 IPL, followed by the limited-overs series in Australia and the first two Tests there.

Aakash Chopra: KL Rahul Also Seems To Be An Obvious Choice

The cricketer-turned-commentator further suggested that KL Rahul, who will lead the ODI team in South Arica, can also take the role, given his rapid rise in Test cricket.

“KL Rahul also seems to be an obvious choice. His stature has grown in Test cricket over the last one year. But it is also true that it has happened only after August. He was made to open and has not looked back since. But does he come across as your natural leader?” said Aakash Chopra.

KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

KL Rahul’s life has taken a 180-degree turn over the last six months with a dramatic revival of his Test career. It was only six months ago that the keeper was nowhere near making India’s first-choice XI in Tests.

In fact, the right-handed opening batter did not feature in a Test match for India for two years between 2019 and 2021. However, injuries to Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal gave him an unexpected opportunity to open the innings in the tour to England with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul has not looked back since.

KL Rahul captained India in Test cricket for the first time after Virat Kohli was ruled out of the second Test against South Africa due to upper back spasms. Earlier a hamstring injury led to Rohit Sharma not making the trip to South Africa and KL Rahul being elevated to the role of vice-captain.

KL Rahul will lead India in the three-match ODI series in South Africa starting on Wednesday 19th January. Rohit Sharma is expected to regain fitness to lead in the home ODI series against West Indies, starting on February 6.

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Atul Wassan file photo | Screengrab.
Atul Wassan file photo | Screengrab.
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Atul Wassan Reckons The 2021 T20I World Cup Debacle Put Virat Kohli Under Lot Of Pressure

Atul Wassan on Sunday said Team India’s debacle in the T20 World Cup, 2021, had put Virat Kohli under a lot of pressure. Virat Kohli on Saturday stepped down as India’s Test captain after leading the side for seven years.

Atul Wassan on Sunday said that he was shocked by Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as skipper of India’s Test team. Atul Wassan said that the star batsman was under pressure. India made an early exit from the group stage in the 2021 T20I World Cup in UAE which was eventually won by Australia.
Atul Wassan | Twitter
Atul Wassan | Twitter

Atul Wassan: There Was Pressure On Virat Kohli After India’s Debacle At 2021 T20I World Cup

The resignation comes on the back of exchanges between him and the BCCI. The exchange started with his T20I resignation before the 2021 World Cup. In December 2021, the BCCI then stripped Virat Kohli of the ODI captaincy, naming Rohit Sharma as the new leader.

“Nothing shocks me. What shocked me was Mahendra Singh Dhoni quitting Test captaincy in the middle of the series in Australia. I think the way things have been going by the last couple of months India’s debacle in the T20 WC there was pressure on him. He is not getting runs. At times he is pointing fingers at other players and as a captain, he must do that to egg them on and I totally support him for that but the problem was that earlier he was leading by example but lately, the thing is that his batsmanship has come down,” Atul Wassan said.

Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

“Every batsman, every player goes through that and it could accentuate that he was captaining all three formats. He also started the conundrum when he said he doesn’t want to do T20 captaincy which was the right decision but I think the board actually took it in a skewed manner and he never expected that he would lose his 50 over captaincy because his goal was to win the World Cup. This is what was missing from his cupboard,” he added.

Virat Kohli on Saturday shocked the cricket fraternity by deciding to step down from the Test captaincy following the conclusion of the three-match Test series against South Africa. The 33-year-old ended his reign by losing the three-match Test series 1-2.

Virat Kohli has been one of India’s most successful white-ball captains. In 95 ODIs, he won 65, giving him a winning percentage of 70-plus. In 45 T20Is, he led India to victory 27 times. The disappointment of not being able to win a Test series in South Africa in two attempts (2017-18 and 2021-22) as captain and the personal form of not being able to score a Test hundred in 2 years may have cluttered his mind for long and made him take this decision.

Atul Wassan: The Things Would Have Been Different If India Won The Test Series Against South Africa

Atul Wassan further said that the scenario would have been different if Team India would have won the Test series in South Africa.

“Things change quickly in world cricket and when you are on a razor’s edge you have to perform and that is why I have said Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara have to pull their weight and that is What Kohli must be thinking. He has won the World Cup already but as a captain, it would have been cherry on the top and that is what he wanted,” said Atul Wassan.

“But looking at things he must have thought that I have to start the WTC cycle again. He could not win a Test series in South Africa. Probably he could have won in South Africa then things could have been different,” he added.

Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP
Virat Kohli with MS Dhoni Aijaz Rahi / AP

Virat Kohli has been the most successful Test captain India has ever produced. After taking over the reins from MS Dhoni, he has led India in 68 Test matches and secured 40 wins at a win percentage of 58.82. As Test captain, he registered his first series win against Sri Lanka in 2015, a victory that India registered in the Emerald Island after 22 years of hiatus.

Under his leadership, Team India also scripted history as they registered their first Test series win in Australia in 2018, clinched series in the West Indies, attained the No.1 spot in Test rankings, and later in the subsequent years marched into the maiden ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021. Virat Kohli also holds the impeccable record of winning 24 out of the 31 Tests played at home as captain, having lost only two Tests.

Virat Kohli is highly likely to be fit for 3rd Test. | Photo Credit: AP
Virat Kohli is highly likely to be fit for 3rd Test. | Photo Credit: AP
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Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit Test Captaincy Welcomed By Kapil Dev

Virat Kohli’s move to step down from the role of India’s Test captain drew accolades from the cricket fraternity. It perhaps was a bittersweet end to Virat Kohli’s captaincy sojourn as India lost the Test series to Proteas, which saw the Test contingent scale new heights in home and away conditions.

The 33-year-old Virat Kohli signed off as India’s most successful captain in the format, with 40 wins in 68 Test matches. He helped the side to a historic Test series win in Australia and took them to the top of the ICC Test rankings. He also holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68).

Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Kapil Dev Welcomed Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit Test Captaincy

The cricket fraternity including past and present players congratulated the mercurial player on his successful stint, and former India skipper Kapil Dev also welcomed Virat Kohli’s move. Kapil Dev said that Virat Kohli wasn’t “enjoying” the captaincy and it must have been a tough decision to make.

The World Cup-winning leader further underlined the captaincy pressure that was clogging up Virat Kohli’s ability to play a fearless brand of cricket. Virat Kohli ended 2021 with 536 runs at a paltry average of 28.21 from 11 Tests — numbers that don’t quite do justice to his batting prowess and winning pedigree.

“I welcome Virat’s decision to quit the Test captaincy. He was going through a rough time ever since he gave up the T20 captaincy. He has looked tense in recent times, appeared to be under a lot of pressure. So giving up the captaincy was an option in order to play freely. He opted for that,” Kapil Dev said.

Kapil Dev lifting the 1983 World Cup | Reuters
Kapil Dev lifting the 1983 World Cup | Reuters

“He is a mature man. I am sure he must have thought hard before taking this important decision. Maybe, he wasn’t enjoying the captaincy. We have to support him and wish him luck,” he added.

In his heydays, Kapil Dev played under the leadership of Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Mohammad Azharuddin and he wants Virat Kohli, the batter, to thrive under the new captain.

Virat Kohli Was Replaced By Rohit Sharma In Limited Overs

Last month, Virat Kohli was replaced by Rohit Sharma as the ODI captain, which eventually resulted in Virat Kohli’s exit from Test responsibility too. It’s yet to be seen whether Rohit Sharma will lead the Test side for India’s next series against Sri Lanka at home.

“Even Sunil Gavaskar played under me. I played under K Srikkanth and Azharuddin. I had no ego. Virat will have to give up his ego and play under a young cricketer. This will help him and Indian cricket. Virat should guide the new captain, new players. We cannot lose Virat, the batsman…no way,” concluded Kapil.

KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma---Image: Twitter
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma—Image: Twitter

KL Rahul will lead the Indian ODI team in the next 3 ODIs against hosts South Africa as Rohit Sharma was ruled out of the ODI series against Proteas due to a hamstring injury. The three-match ODI series between South Africa and India starts on January 19. The upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa will be Virat Kohli’s first assignment in 50-over cricket since his removal as captain last month.

BCCI is not in a hurry to announce Virat Kohli’s successor for Tests. A call would only be taken closer to the Sri Lanka Test series next month. Those under consideration are Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

While Rohit Sharma is the designated vice-captain, the national selectors, it is learned, would give the nod only if they are convinced his body can take the workload of leading across formats. KL Rahul will lead India in the three-match ODI series in South Africa starting on Wednesday 19th January.

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