Former Indian selector and wicketkeeper Saba Karim believes it was the right decision to appoint Rohit Sharma as the white ball skipper and continue with Virat Kohli as the Test skipper. The duo have been instrumental in India’s meteoric rise across formats in the past decade and Karim feels they have great understanding between them.
With Rahul Dravid appointed as the head coach of the Indian team, Karim believes both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli can open up and ask for help from the veteran. With two ICC events – the T20 World Cup and the 50-over World Cup in the next two years, Saba Karim feels split captaincy will help bring in a fresh school of thought for Team India.
“I do believe Rohit and Virat have that kind of camaraderie and respect. And they can always fall back on Rahul Dravid for help. This should work quite well for the Indian side. I think this is a wise decision as the workload gets too much at times and more so as India are preparing for World Cups. The T20 one in Australia next year and then the 50-over World Cup in 2023 at home. So, you need to have fresh mind to offer more to the side,” Saba Karim told NDTV.
Former captains have played under new captains in the past: Saba Karim
Saba Karim gave the example of players like MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar, who were former captains but they also ended playing under new captains like Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli respectively towards the backend of their career. ALthough split captaincy is not something that is seen often in India, Karim believes it has all the ingredients for taking Team India towards the path of success.
“Although we haven’t had this tradition of split captaincy in Indian cricket but we have seen former captains playing under new captains. It has happened in the past for so many years.
“We had Sachin Tendulkar or Rahul Dravid and even MS Dhoni for that matter when he retired from Test cricket, he did play under Virat Kohli in ODIs and T20Is for some time. If the former and the new captain have respect and are able to understand each other for the betterment of the team then I don’t see any issue at all,” Saba Karim concluded.
The first Test between India and South Africa will be played at the SuperSport Park, Centurion on Sunday.