Ahead of India’s series against Australia, Shoiab Akhtar has weighed in on the debate surrounding split captaincy in Indian cricket team. Ever since Rohit Sharma won the 5th IPL title with Mumbai Indians, some fans and former cricketers opined that the star opener should be given the leadership role in Team India, at least in the T20I format.
Gautam Gambhir’s comment that it would be a shame if Rohit Sharma is not appointed the captain of Indian T20I squad went viral. He had said that the captaincy record of the 33-year-old was hard to ignore, adding that there was a huge difference between the captaincy of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohi in white-ball cricket.
Shoaib Akhtar has now opined that the debate over split captaincy would be hard to ignore if Rohit performs well in Australia. Notably, the star batsman was not included in any of the three squads for the tour but later, BCCI added him in the team for the 4-match Test series.
Shoaib Akhtar also reckoned that Virat Kohli should hand over the captaincy of at least the T20I format to Rohit Sharma if he feels that he is getting fatigued because of the extra burden. Calling Rohit Sharma one of India’s “greatest batsmen”, Shoaib Akhtar said that eyes of the world will be on Rohit Sharma during the Australia series.
“My take on it is pretty simple. From what I know Virat is very keen to take the team forward. It all depends on how fatigued he is feeling. He has been playing non-stop since 2010, has got 70 centuries and a mountain of runs under his belt.
“If he is feeling fatigued, then he should think about giving the leadership role to Rohit in one of the formats (preferably T20s).
“I could see the boredom on his face during the IPL, may be it was because of the bio-bubble situation, he seemed a bit stressed out. It all depends on how he feels. Rohit has been ready for captaincy for a while.
“Rohit is one of the greatest batsmen India has produced. Now he also understands the real value of his talent.
“Australia will be his best chance to prove himself as captain. He should grab it with both hands. He has the talent and ability to lead the team. It will be a tough test for India and I would look for these kind of situations as a player.
“The whole world would be looking at Rohit as captain and batsman. If he does well for himself and the team, then there should be a debate about split captaincy,” Shoaib Akhtar told PTI.
Rohit Sharma is expected to be next seen in action from Decemeber 17 when the first Test match between India and Australia starts in Adelaide.