India begin their Asia Cup journey on Tuesday against Hong Kong at Dubai International Stadium. Having had a tough time in England, India would be looking forward to bounce back and produce a dominant performance in the Asia Cup. With selectors resting Virat Kohli after a hectic schedule, onus will be on Rohit Sharma to lead the team.
India have had a lot of success in limited formats of the game ever since Kohli had taken the captaincy from MS Dhoni. But these successes have only been in the bilateral series. Only major tournament that Kohli has led the team is last year’s Champions Trophy which India failed to win just by a whisker. The bitter loss against Pakistan in the finals of CT17 left many raise their eyebrows on Kohli’s captaincy but impressive series win against South Africa in their home helped him prove his credential.
However him resting in the Asia Cup gives Rohit a fantabulous opportunity to showcase his leadership. The aggressive opener already has a lot of success to his name in the Indian Premier League. Rohit has led his IPL franchise, Mumbai Indians, to three IPL trophies, thus making him the captain with the most number of IPL titles along with MS Dhoni.
The prolific opener has also had the opportunity to lead Indian Cricket team before. He has led the team in the Zimbabwean tour in 2016 as well as in last year’s Nidhas Cup in Sri Lanka. And to his delight, he has successfully helped the nation to win both the tournaments. He has had the opportunity to captain the likes of Lasith Malinga and Mustafizur Rahman, who are considered as the major bowlers in the tournament, in the IPL. So this should provide team India and Rohit Sharma with a strategic advantage against their fiery opponents.
But this is the first time that Rohit has got a chance to demonstrate his leadership skills against the arch-rivals Pakistan. The rivalry between India and Pakistan is well known to everyone and with both the teams being drawn in the same group in the tournament, it would be interesting to see how Rohit holds his nerves and leads the team to perform.
There are so many factors that strengthens his CV as a captain. But one capability that every Indian is skeptical is whether he can be as aggressive as Kohli. Can he be as talismanic as the current test skipper? There is a different aura that Kohli brings to the side with his presence on the field. And the real test of Rohit Sharma is whether he can replicate the flamboyant nature of Kohli.
There are many questions currently wandering in every Indian cricket fan’s mind. One thing that is certain is that Rohit Sharma is going to have a lot of pressure on his shoulders as he leads the team in UAE. India face Pakistan on Wednesday and that is going to be the litmus test of his captaincy.
Comment below to let us know your views on Rohit Sharma being the captain of the side.