Rohit Sharma will take over the captaincy reigns in T20Is full-time from the New Zealand series starting tomorrow.
Sharma walks into the role amidst humungous expectations. He was the most natural and expected choice for captaincy post-Virat Kohli’s resignation. Sharma has been a captain in waiting for far too long. He will now have complete command over the bunch of players he wants in the T20Is.
Rohit Sharma Captaincy: India’s disastrous 2021 T20 World Cup campaign:
India had a forgettable T20 World Cup campaign. They lost to arch-rivals, Pakistan in the opening game. In the second game to follow, New Zealand thoroughly outplayed them. India’s team selection, its intent were questioned left, right, and center post these heavy defeats.
India did manage to win its rest 3 games but the damage was already done. Virat Kohli’s last dance as T20I captain ended in a farce. India for the first time since 2012 failed to qualify for knockouts in an ICC event.
In the backdrop of this exit, India will be playing a 3-match T20I series with runners-up, New Zealand. This is where the Rohit era is set to start!
India will not only have a new T20I captain at the helm they will also be working under a new coach. Rahul Dravid will take charge of this series as India’s head coach. The combination of Rohit-Dravid is expected to win the next ICC trophy which happens to be a T20 World Cup again. This time in Australia.
The immediate goal of this duo will be to plan a roadmap for World Cup glory next year. India will have a packed schedule as always with multiple bilateral series scheduled. They need to make optimum use of the matches to lay down a marker for the way they will approach T20Is from here.
What does India need to do differently?
India for all its boldness in approach has been found wanting in the limited-overs. They are undoubtedly the most aggressive Test team in the world currently but the same can’t be said about their T20 side. This is the format that needs the most aggressive and positive approach.
India has been timid in its mindset especially while batting first against strong units. Their idea to launch big at the death conserving wickets has lost its value. They are behind the T20 revolution which encourages the teams to take the game head-on. India needs to embrace this vision.
Not just on paper but it needs to put this in practice too. They need T20I specialists and not just players who are decent in ODIs. India’s attitude of treating T20Is as shorter ODIs doesn’t stand merit. In the T20s, every ball is an event and India needs to play it with that mindset.
Can Rohit bring in that difference?
Rohit Sharma is quite capable of bringing in that mindset change. Not for nothing, he has won 5 IPL titles in 8 years. Incidentally, it was under Sharma that India last won its two bilateral titles (Nidahas trophy and Asia Cup).
Sharma transformed Mumbai Indians into one of the most feared T20 outfits in the world. Their approach of going all out right from the word to go decimated sides. They hardly broke a sweat during the knockouts, especially where they were easily a cut above the rest.
If Rohit can help the men in blue play that brand of cricket and combine tactical acumen with Dravid at the helm, things do look positive for India.
Now it is about executing the template that the captain-coach duo will outline with a bigger picture in mind. We can’t wait for this ERA to kickstart!