A horrible phase of 40 minutes of India’s batting at Old Trafford against New Zealand in the first semi-final of the 2019 World Cup not only dashed their hopes of winning the title the third time but also unveiled some tough questions to face. One among them is on the question of captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Will a split captaincy from here on between the two batting masters help India hereon?
The team was far too reliant on opener Rohit and No.3 Kohli in the World Cup and when both fell cheaply in the semi-final clash, it became a herculean task for the Men in Blue to make a comeback into the match. In the tournament, while Rohit slammed five centuries including three back-to-back ones, Kohli also belted five consecutive fifties till the law of averages caught up with both in the crucial Manchester clash.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reportedly mulling a split captaincy in the long and short formats with Kohli and Rohit taking charges in the two, respectively. India generally are not known for split captaincy though there were instances of Anil Kumble leading in Tests and Mahendra Singh Dhoni leading in the shorter formats and Kohli leading in red-ball cricket and Dhoni in white-ball formats.
Hindustan Times cited reports that spoke about a board official who felt good teams begin preparations for the next edition immediately after one campaign concludes and England’s success in the 2019 edition was an example. The Three Lions started an intense preparation eyeing the World Cup this year after getting knocked out in the group stages in the 2015 edition.
After four years of consistent success, they made their dream of bagging the maiden World Cup come true. It is being thought out in the circles of the cricket authorities that India should do the same eyeing the 2023 World Cup which will be played at home.
“This would be the right time for Rohit to take over the mantle of the captaincy in the 50-over format. There has been immense support to the present captain and the management and it is time to plan ahead for the next World Cup and for that the existing ideas and plans need a fresh look. We all know some areas need a relook. Rohit would be the right man for the job,” the official was quoted as saying.
Also read – ICC World Cup 2019: Flop XI of the tournament
Reports over Kohli-Rohit rift also to be assessed
However, the idea of having Kohli and Rohit as captains for different formats also had a concern and that was about the reports suggesting the presence of rift between the two players. It was being said after India’s exit from the World Cup that the two players had their respective loyalists and things weren’t too happy in the dressing room.
The matter is set to come up at a review meeting featuring Kohli, head coach Ravi Shastri, chief selector MSK Prasad and the Committee of Administrators.
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