Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra (Credits - Twitter)

Last Update on: November 26th, 2020 at 10:02 am

A couple of days after engaging in an animated exchange with Gautam Gambhir over Virat Kohli vs Rohit Sharma debate, former India opener Aakash Chopra has once again thrown his support behind the current India skipper.

Ever since Rohit led Mumbai Indians to a record fifth IPL title earlier this month, several quarters have opined that he should be made the India captain at least in T20Is. Unlike Rohit, Kohli has not led Royal Challengers Bangalore to IPL title even once in his 8-year captaincy so far.

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, RCB vs MI, IPL 2020
Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli. Image Credits: IPL

Watch: Aakash Chopra And Gautam Gambhir Engage In Animated Exchange Over Rohit Sharma vs Virat Kohli Debate

Gambhir has been very vocal about making Rohit the T20I captain. Aakash Chopra, however, has constantly maintained that Kohli’s credentials as an international captain should not be judged on his performance for RCB. Writing in his column for ESPNcricinfo, the former cricketer-turned-commentator started by pointing out some former cricketers’ ‘clamour’ to replace Kohli with Rohit as the T20I captain.

After Mumbai’s fifth IPL title, there was a clamour among some former cricketers to replace Virat Kohli with Sharma as captain in the shortest format. Their argument is that Kohli’s record as a captain leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore is quite poor and that that should be enough to make the change for India too,” Aakash Chopra wrote.

Writing further, he showed Kohli’s returns as India captain and went as far as comparing it to MS Dhoni’s win percentage in limited-overs cricket.

“Kohli as an India captain in ODIs has won 72% of his games; in T20Is this figure is about 65%. If we were to further narrow it down in the shortest format, his win percentage goes up to 75% since the start of 2019 – 12 wins from 16 games,” wrote Aakash Chopra.

“To put things a little more in perspective, MS Dhoni is arguably India’s most successful limited-overs captain, with a T20 World Cup, 50-over World Cup and a Champions Trophy title to his name – the only captain in the world to have all three. Dhoni’s win percentage in T20Is and ODIs is about 60%. When you set Kohli’s returns as an India captain alongside Dhoni’s performance, you can’t possibly punch holes in it,” he added.

Virat Kohli, India vs West Indies 2019, Indian National Cricket Team
Virat Kohli (Credits – BCCI)

Aakash Chopra also insisted that Indian players must be judged on their performances in international cricket instead of how they fare in the IPL. He also stated that Kohli should get a long run as captain after replacing the legendary MS Dhoni.

“Indian players must be judged on their performances — whether captaincy or otherwise – for India alone. For example, would you drop proven international performers like Jasprit Bumrah or KL Rahul from the Indian T20I team if they had a poor IPL? The answer is an overwhelming no, because they have been outstanding for India in the T20I format, and that will supersede all franchise cricket.

“Given that the captaincy role went to Kohli when Dhoni moved on, it’s only fair that he get as long a run as his performances as India captain merit; his lack of IPL success must not come in the way of his chances of leading in his maiden ICC T20I event. The fact that when Kohli took over from Dhoni there was no ruckus about the appointment tells you that Sharma wasn’t really in the contest for the job back then,” wrote Chopra.

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