Rohit Sharma is a readymade choice available if India feel they need a change in guard: Aakash Chopra

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Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

Former Indian cricketer and presently an analyst and a commentator, Aakash Chopra, on Tuesday opined that Indian team management is likely to persist with Virat Kohli as their captain in the coming years, but the decision might change if India fail to win any of the next two ICC tournaments. Chopra further opined that in such a scenario, India have a readymade option available in Rohit Sharma. 

Chopra said that Kohli has been improving as a captain over the course of his tenure. The 31-year-old was named the Indian captain after MS Dhoni retired from Test cricket in December 2014. He then transformed the Test team with a daunting pace attack that recently completed one of his its best-ever calendar years while drawing comparisons with the great Windies attack of the 70s and 80s. 

Kohli was named the captain of the limited-overs side in early 2017 and then led the team in Champions Trophy that year and in World Cup in  2019, but failed to have their hands on the trophy. The lack of ICC trophies in his tenure has sparked the split captaincy debate.

Chopra added that the change in guard is unlikely to affect his batting. 

Speaking to sports presenter Sawera Pasha during a YouTube interaction, Chopra said, “India is blessed. If India feels 6 months or 1 and half years down the line that we need a change of guard… I don’t think Kohli’s performance will get affected. He has reached that level wherein he won’t come down from there. His performances will be unaffected regardless of whether he is the captain or not.

“But as a team, sometimes you want a different direction. If you reach that stage, then Rohit Sharma is a readymade choice available. But till then, you need to persist with Kohli, he is improving as captain.

“If he has a good bowling attack, like the one he has in Tests, he is a fine captain who knows how to handle the bowlers well. But if he doesn’t have good bowlers, just like the case at RCB, then he is also not that aggressive.

“For the next 10-12 months I think it will be Kohli. But after that if you are looking for a change of guard… I wish India wins an ICC event soon because after 2013 we haven’t won anything.

“There is a T20 World Cup in India as well. Hopefully, India should win one of these 2. If they don’t win, then you may start thinking ‘let’s look for a change in leadership and find a different tone now’.”

While many veterans over the last few months have opined in favour of split captaincy in a bid to lessen the burden on Kohli, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had dismissed the idea. 

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