The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced that Rohit Sharma will take over from Virat Kohli as the captain of India’s ODI team as well. Rohit was appointed as full-time T20I skipper after Kohli decided to step down from the role after India’s T20 World Cup campaign.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee also decided to name Mr Rohit Sharma as the Captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward,” the BCCI said in a statement after announcing India’s Test squad for the South Africa tour.
The announcement comes on the day the BCCI announced India’s squad for the three Test series starting December 26. Several floating reports in the media suggested the change in guard was inevitable, and the board ended the suspense with a tweet.
Rohit, who took over as India’s T20I skipper after the T20 World Cup, led in the recently-concluded three T20I series against New Zealand, which the home team comfortably won 3-0. With Kohli already stepping down as India’s T20I captain, it was only a matter of time before Rohit took over as the team’s limited-overs captain. He was also promoted as India’s vice-captain in Tests, the deputy to Kohli, taking over from an out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane.
Rohit has less than a year to prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia next year, which will be followed by the 50-over World Cup in India in 2023. With the Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid partnership taking over, the two upcoming ICC events promise to be the biggest challenge for Team India, especially after their poor show in the T20 World Cup, where the team failed to reach the semi-final – the first time it had happened at an ICC event in eight years.
Rohit has led India in 10 ODIs, out of which the team won eight. The biggest achievement of Rohit’s ODI captaincy came in 2018, when in Kohli’s absence, India won the Asia Cup in the UAE, beating Bangladesh in the final. The team won all its league matches, barring a thrilling tie against Afghanistan.
Kohli, who took over as India’s full-time captain in 2017, when the great MS Dhoni decided to step down, will go down as the country’s most successful ODI captain with a win percentage of 70.43. He led India in 95 games – winning 65 and losing 27, and is fourth in the list of most matches as India skipper behind Dhoni, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly.
Under Kohli, India fared well in the two major ICC events the team took part in. In 2017, India reached the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, where they lost to Pakistan. Two years later, India reached the semi-final of the T20 World Cup under Kohli, where they finished at the top of the table after the group stage. In one of the most challenging world Cup formats, Kohli led his team with confidence as India won all its group matches barring one – to England.
Unfortunately though, Kohli’s captaincy tenure ends without an ICC trophy, even though he is second in the list of most runs scored by an captain in ODIs. With 5449 runs from 95 matches at an impressive average of 72.65 including 21 centuries and 27 fifties, Kohli is next only to the great former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.