Rohit Sharma new ODI captain: Why Virat Kohli is leaving captaincy in the ODIs for India despite a stellar overall record.
The BCCI has finally announced an 18-member squad for Team India’s upcoming tour of South Africa. The squad has only been announced for the three-match Test series set to commence with the Boxing Day Test at Centurion’s Supersport Park. As far as the ODIs are concerned, the squad for the same would be announced on a later date.
While some prominent names have failed to make the cut mostly due to injury, the biggest news which has invited debates and discussions galore amongst the fans and experts of the game is regarding Virat Kohli, who has made way for Rohit Sharma as the skipper of Team India in ODIs as well.
With the ODI squad yet to be the announced, the move by BCCI to make the decision public, and on top of that without any statement of clarity from either Kohli or the board on reason(s) for the move rightly invites room for criticism.
Rohit Sharma new ODI captain: Why Virat Kohli is leaving captaincy in the ODIs?
It is worth mentioning that Kohli, at the time of him announcing his decision to quit as T20I captain for both his franchise RCB and Team India, had explicitly mentioned that he would continue to lead the side in the ODIs and Tests.
However, as per earlier reports from November this year, The BCCI wanted to relieve Kohli of the captaincy burden in limited-overs cricket so that he can focus on his batting and return to his dominant form.
But, the above reasoning of the BCCI makes little sense if one looks at the overall numbers. Kohli has batted at a ridiculous average of 72.65 in the 95 ODIs he has lead team India in. During this phase (as captain), he has struck a total of 21 centuries (off 43) while amassing more than 5000 runs. While a century has been elusive since a couple of years, he has struck some crucial fifties in both the Tests and the ODIs consistently alongside other batters.
On the flip side, given that it was his decision to quit T20I captaincy, Kohli perhaps had to make up his mind regarding giving up the ODI captaincy as well, as perhaps the idea of split captaincy within the two White ball formats would have made little sense to him.
This split in the captaincy could well be a master stroke because it could liberate Virat Kohli but it is critical that it is managed with sensitivity & care. Rohit and Virat are proud, mature Indian players first and I am certain, they will handle the shared responsibility well
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 8, 2021
Anyway, with the matter still ambiguous, coupled with the absence of statements of clarity regarding the reasoning for the decision arrival point, one can only come up with conjectures. Having said that, the BCCI can certainly do better in terms of transparency before its biggest stakeholders- the fans.