Throughout his career, Rohit Sharma has been regarded as one of the finest players that India has produced. With over 9,000 ODI runs and 3,000 T20 runs to his name, the 35-year-old has several accolades to his name. Most notably, he has the record of the highest individual ODI score of 264, which he scored against Sri Lanka in 2014.
However, Rohit Sharma hasn’t just taken the captaincy role from the former Royal Challengers Bangalore captain, he has fulfilled the role better than most people imagined.
More importantly, he has understood the role and started building the team in his image.
Rohit Sharma As Captain - Better Late Than Never
So how did things change this quickly between the Kohli regime and the Sharma regime?
The biggest move he pulled was to take a leaf out of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s notebook. During his captaincy, Dhoni created a blend between the youngsters (Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli) and veterans (Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh).
Rohit Sharma Brings Back Veterans And Youngsters
Rohit Sharma did the same by bringing back veterans like Dinesh Karthik into the first team.
Despite the struggles Kohli has had recently with his form, the Mumbai Indians man has continuously backed him and maintained a good environment within the dressing room.
The former Indian captain hasn’t scored a ton in three years and many believed that it had something to do with his captaincy. However, things haven’t changed ever since his removal from the captaincy role.
On the other hand, Rohit is doing all he can to protect his teammate and believes that Kohli will bring the glory days back again.
Apart from his backing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore star, Rohit Sharma has brought back Shikhar Dhawan into the first team. Recently, the opening pair of Dhawan and Sharma became the fourth opening pair to score 5000 ODI partnership runs.
The Hitman also brought back Suryakumar Yadav into the team and backed him consistently. The 31-year-old was dropped by Kohli after a poor World T20 campaign last year.
The backing proved pivotal as Yadav became the fifth Indian batsman to score a century in the T20s. As a result of his resurgence in the T20 series against England last week, he has now jumped into the top 5 T20 batsman rankings.
Many Indian critics have questioned the role of Hardik Pandeya within the team as well, as the all-rounder has rarely been used with the ball and comes way too down the order to make an impact.
However, his all-around performances against England have definitely shown what he is capable of. Jasprit Bumrah is now officially the World No.1 ODI bowler and we can definitely see why he deserves that after the recent six-wicket haul against England in the first ODI on July 12.
In simple words, you have players fighting for every position on the Indian side nowadays and it is a great sign going into the big competitions later on in the year.
As a result of this blend, Rohit became the first Indian captain to secure 13 consecutive wins in the T20s. As the captain, the 35-year-old has secured T20 series wins against New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, and now England.
That streak came to an end against England on July 10, when the Three Lions got a consolation win in a 2-1 series loss against the 2007 T20 World Champions.
The former England captain and current commentator, Nasser Hussain, believes that India should be the frontrunners in every format that they play in due to the squad’s depth.
Whether it is actually the case or not, it is a great sign that India has a good spine within their squad, which means that their team isn’t dependent on just one or two players which was usually the case in the previous few years.
Apart from the results that we have seen since November under Sharma, it is also about the way in which the 35-year-old wants his players to perform. In recent years, India has gotten a habit of not being able to complete tricky run-chases.
We saw in the 2017 Champions Trophy Final and the 2019 World Cup semi-final when the Blues were unable to finish the job when it came to a run-chase.
Rohit Sharma has stated very clearly that he wants his team to be expressive and play with freedom when having a tricky score to chase. He doesn’t want his batsmen to fall into the trap after a successive loss of wickets and wants to keep up with the required run rate to maintain the pressure on the opposition.
It only gets trickier for India as the Asia Cup and the World T20 are around the corner for them. They are set to play Pakistan in both of those competitions.
They would definitely have the painful 10-wicket defeat against the Greens in last year’s World T20 and they would do everything to reverse that result. This was the first time in World Cup history that Pakistan had defeated the blue caps in any official game.
Some people say that it is a good thing that Pakistan finally beat India in a World Cup because all the pressure regarding its unbeaten streak India is finally off its shoulders and the Indian team can play with a bit more freedom.
However, India’s target is the World T20 title and not just the match against their fierce rivals. Therefore, they must be prepared for every challenge that comes. However, the signs are great so far under Rohit’s captaincy and there is a feeling in the camp that they are much better prepared coming into this year’s World T20 as compared to last year’s edition.