Former Indian wicket-keeper and ex-Chief of Selectors Kiran More has again added fuel to a controversial debate in India stoking speculations on Virat Kohli handing over the limited overs’ reins to Rohit Sharma. While Kohli has been one of India’s most successful captains in terms of match and series win percentage he is yet to win a major world event for the country and has also not led RCB to an IPL title. Rohit, on the other hand, has been at the helm inspiring Mumbai Indians to a record 5 IPL titles.
More stated that Kohli’s fate and decision to agree to a split captaincy across the three formats may well depend on the result of the WTC final in Southampton and the subsequent five-match marquee Test series against hosts England. The former wicket-keeper batsman added that Kohli is currently burdened with the responsibility of leading India across the three formats and may want to ease the pressure and burden on himself.
“I think the vision of the board drives these things. I believe Rohit Sharma will get a chance soon. Virat Kohli is a shrewd captain who played under MS Dhoni. How long he wants to captain the ODIs and T20s, he will also think. You will learn a lot more about these decisions after the England tour," quoted More.
More was of the firm belief that a split captaincy formula can work well even in India. He added that captaining a side like India in all the three formats with a hectic international schedule and that too for one of the greatest batsmen in the game’s history is not an easy proposition.
“Split captaincy can work in India. What the senior players think about the Indian team’s future is very important. With Virat Kohli, captaining three teams isn’t that easy plus he has to perform as well. And I give him the credit for it because performing in every format while captaining and winning… but, I think there will be a time when Virat Kohli will say ‘Now it’s enough, let Rohit lead the side’," stated More.
Contrary to popular opinion that the concept of a split captaincy does not augur well for Indian cricket as it does not fit into the larger ethos of Indian culture and Indian ‘way of doing things’, More claimed that the idea if implemented could prove to be very beneficial to Indian cricket in the long run. He added that Kohli needed a break and would do well by acknowledging Rohit for his leadership qualities in the shorter formats.
“That will be very healthy actually. And this is a huge message for Indian cricket which will go on and on for generations. It’s about respect that if Rohit Sharma is doing good he should be given a chance. I think Virat Kohli will set a great precedent if he does that. The future will hinge on his decision - how much rest he wants, if he wants to captain the Test team or the ODI team. He’s a human too, his mind gets tired also," concluded More.