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Can Rohit Sharma deliver the goods as a replacement for Kohli?

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India’s new captain Rohit Sharma has claimed that the quality offered by Virat Kohli has the opportunity to make a huge difference even if it is just as a player and not as a captain. After replacing Kohli as the T20 and ODI captain, Rohit Sharma has refused to rule out the impact of Kohli in the squad going forward. Speaking after his appointment as the new ODI captain, Rohit Sharma claimed that the role of a captain is only 20% in the success of a team, as a major chunk of the hard work rests on the individual players and their ability to function as a team.

The Indian cricket scene is eager for changes that could boost the team, but there is a lot of work to do ahead of Rohit Sharma. India needs a major revamp after having not done well in three consecutive ICC events. The team has endured a difficult time at the Champions Trophy 2017 final, World Cup semi-final in 2019, and the T20 World Cup this year.

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Kohli is definitely not the first great to have suffered in a captain’s role. Even Sachin Tendulkar was not immune from a lot of criticism when he was leading the team. Apart from having to deal with many criticisms about his decisions, Tendulkar was also at the receiving end of criticism for his batting performances when he was leading the team. The decision to appoint Rohit Sharma has certainly not been taken with the long-term considerations into account. At 34, Sharma is not the oldest to take the mantle, as the likes of Anil Kumble have been able to do the same at 37. However, this is one appointment where the BCCI has not been forced to make the change.

Meanwhile, former coach Ravi Shastri opened up on the manner of his exit despite having achieved success with the national team. India was able to manage successive victories in test series against Australia before going on to beat West Indies in a test clean sweep for the first time. The bowling line-up in the last few years has become one of the greatest in the world. The team has also been at the top of the test rankings for 42 successive months. Despite such successes, India will ultimately be questioned on its inability to win an ICC Trophy in the last seven years. Despite having a better success ratio than the likes of MS Dhoni, Kohli might have to look back on his time with the captaincy with some level of regret.

Even though the move has generated a lot of opinions, there is no doubt that the captaincy record enjoyed by Rohit Sharma is quite good. He has been quite a great leader in his role for the Mumbai Indians. It will not be a surprise if he manages to replicate the performances at a national team level. Sharma happens to be the most successful captain in IPL history after having picked up five titles so far. Since Kohli remains as the test captain, it is unlikely that the move will also create a rift in the camp.

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