Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma. (Photo: Twitter)

On Wednesday, the BCCI confirmed that Rohit Sharma will be replacing Virat Kohli as the captain in the ODI format as well. Earlier, following the conclusion of the T20 World Cup, Kohli had stepped down as the T20I captain but now he has been stripped of the 50-over captaincy as well.

The most obvious reason for the change is the lack of ICC trophies under Kohli. Although the 32-year-old has led India in only three ICC events – 1 T20 World Cup, 1 ODI World Cup, and 1 Champions Trophy, the selectors felt it was time for a new perspective considering the resources available for India are at an all-time high.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image-Getty

The BCCI wanted absolute clarity between red-ball and white-ball cricket. The BCCI wanted a complete (leadership) separation between the longest format and shorter formats to avoid any confusion. In the end, it was left to the selectors to take a call. They decided to appoint Rohit as new ODI captain,” a BCCI insider was quoted as saying to Indian Express.

Kohli had announced that he would relinquish captaincy in the T20I format only but the selectors felt it wasn’t the best idea to have split captaincy in the white-ball formats. With the 2022 T20 World Cup and the 2023 ODI World Cup coming up, the panel decided to give Rohit ample time to build a strong and settled squad.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma’s elevation as a batsman and Virat Kohli’s poor form might have played a part as well

Of late, the best all-format batsman for India has been Rohit Sharma. The 34-year-old has immensely upped his game in the Test format and was already a vital cog in the white-ball formats. In the recent home and away series against England, he was the best batsman for India and also top-scored for them in both series.

In stark contrast, Kohli has dipped tremendously in the last two years. His previous century came in 2019 against Bangladesh and his century drought has led to some people questioning his place in the side. Although Kohli continues to average in the high 40s in the limited-overs format, it has taken a beating in Tests.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

This would have tilted the scales in Rohit’s favour. The final nail in the coffin was the terrible performance of the Indian team at the recently concluded T20 World Cup. They lost their first two games to Pakistan and New Zealand and crashed out of the tournament in the Super 12 stage itself.

Regardless of the performances, Rohit’s elevation to the captaincy role was due, considering how well he has captained in the limited opportunities he has had. Having led Mumbai Indians to four titles, he deserved a chance and it was always a matter of when rather than if. Whether the change will work is yet to be seen.

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