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Jun 30, 2020 8:43 PM ET

Rohit Sharma equipped to replace Kohli as captain down the line, believes Aakash Chopra

iCrowd Newswire - Jun 30, 2020

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Aakash Chopra is of the belief that limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma is fully equipped to take over the Indian captaincy, down the line, if need be. The former India cricketer, however, added that Kohli has reached such a level in his career that captaincy won’t affect his performance.

After MS Dhoni stepped down as limited-overs captain in 2017, Virat Kohli was named the Indian captain across all formats. Meanwhile, India’s limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who is also the Mumbai Indians skipper, has stood in for Kohli in limited-over matches. There have also been talks of split captaincy between the Indian captain and his deputy.

With regard to that discussion, former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra said that he believes India is blessed to have two natural leaders in the team in the form of Kohli and Rohit and the latter can take over as captain if the need arises. While Rohit is a natural leader, Chopra backed Kohli’s captaincy and stated that the Indian captain’s performance won’t be affected by his leadership role. 

“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,” said Chopra during an interaction with sports presenter Sawera Pasha on YouTube.

“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,” he added.

With the fate of this year’s edition of the ICC T20 World Cup still uncertain, and the 2021 edition of the event set to be held in India, Chopra pointed out that BCCI might look for a change in leadership to make things work again as India have not won any major ICC trophy since the 2013 Champions Trophy. Chopra said that India should be able to win the two ICC trophies that are lined up.

“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,” said Chopra.

“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’,” he added.

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