- If the newspaper reports are to be believed, the Indian cricket team will have split captaincy, different captains for the red and white ball, coming into play soon after the T20 cricket world cup. The ostensible reason cited here is to allow the mercurial Virat Kohli more time and lesser responsibilities to concentrate on his batting which is seeing an unusual dip of late. As reports suggest, Kohli will be at the helm of affairs for Test matches and Rohit Sharma will don the captain’s role for white-ball format. Of course, the envisaged move augurs well for Indian cricket is not only preparing the second line of leadership but also ensuring there is no dearth of fresh and innovative ideas to further the larger cause of the most popular game in the country.
- Note that the planned move is not new to the team as the split captaincy experience was introduced much earlier. Remember, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni have shared it in the past, and before them Dhoni and Anil Kumble too. The split captaincy has become a norm of sorts in the world of cricket as several major countries have adopted the strategy. Most notably, those countries have been successful as well. England has Joe Root and Eoin Morgan sharing the responsibilities. And we all know how Morgan delivered on the biggest of the stages by winning the 50 over the world cup a couple of years back. Australia is represented by Tim Paine in Tests and Aaron Finch in shorter formats. So does West Indies with Kraig Braithwaite and Keiron Pollard doing the honors, respectively.
- The rigors of playing extremely competitive international cricket are bound to take a toll on the players, especially those cricketers who are most valuable in terms of their presence and contributions to the larger cause of the team. It is worthwhile to note that marquee players are expected to be selected to play in all formats of the game. Unlike earlier times, the three versions of cricket are literally being played out round the clock leaving little time to rest in between. Add to the cauldron, the pandemic-induced highly demanding secure bio-bubble environment will test the best of cricketer’s mental forbearance and physical disposition while featuring in all formats of the game, no less.
PC: Rahul Sadhu
- The captaincy in any international sports is demanding and cricket with three versions assumes gargantuan proportions on the player anointed as a leader. Against this backdrop, the split captaincy provides tangible relief to any stalwart cricketer donning the mantle who might be feeling overburdened with the responsibilities of handling a pressure-filled atmosphere during international competitions. This also allows a player to express himself freely on the field without the added responsibility of captaining the side. Thus, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is correct in identifying hitman Rohit Sharma to lead Team India in white-ball games. He is considered one of the modern-day greats in the abridged version, and records speak for themselves. Make no mistake, Virat Kohli’s passionate and aggressive countenance should serve Test cricket most appropriately. Good move, indeed!