Kapil Dev, the former Indian skipper, feels that split-captaincy in Indian culture will never work while reacting to the recent calls by fans and a few former cricketers for Rohit Sharma to take over the white-ball leadership from the current skipper, Virat Kohli.
With Rohit Sharma adding yet another jewel to his already star-studded crown as captain in the shortest format of the game following his 5th title-winning heist for the Mumbai Indians in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League, and Virat Kohli once again failing to win the elusive title for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, the calls for split captaincy in the Indian Cricket Team have only grown louder.
“I like to see my culture first. In our culture, it is not going to happen (the split captaincy theory). You can’t have two CEOs in one company. If Virat Kohli is going to play T20 and he is good enough, let him be there,” Kapil Dev said via video conference in Hindustan Times Summit.
Split-captaincy has been a norm in countries like England and Australia, with Eoin Morgan and Aaron Finch leading the white-ball teams and Joe Root and Tim Paine spearheading the set-up in the longest format of the game respectively.
But there is one subtle difference. Both Aaron Finch and Eoin Morgan do not play red-ball cricket unlike Virat Kohli, who features in all the three formats of the game. And, if Rohit is handed over the reins of the limited-overs team and Virat continues to feature in it as a player besides leading the Test team, Kapil Dev feels that it will create unnecessary difference among the players since almost 80 percent of the players are the same across formats.
“Even though I like to see other people coming up but it is very very difficult for other players. 80% of your team is going to be the same (in different formats). They won’t like to have different captains have different theories. England, Australia, and South Africa are different. They have a different mindset and culture. But in our culture, it (split captaincy) is going to create differences among players.
“Players might get confused as to whom they should look up to because here we look up to the captain. So I would say for the betterment of the team let it continue like this,” added Kapil.
Kapil Dev further reckoned that if Virat Kohli continues to play ODIs and T20Is then he would let him continue with the job besides adding that he feels so happy to see that there are 2-3 potential leaders in the current Indian set-up who can lead the side in Virat’s absence.
“If one player like Virat Kohli can’t play T20 or ODIs then I can think of it (of having another captain) but if he is going to play all the formats then I would say let him continue but I’m happy that we have two or three players who can do a good job if Virat is not available,” Kapil Dev said.