Greg Blewett says Rohit Sharma is not the right candidate to lead India but since he is, India’s chances don’t look too bright at the 2023 World Cup.
For all that Rohit Sharma has achieved as the captain of Mumbai Indians in the IPL, his record as India skipper leaves a lot to be desired. Surprisingly, Rohit’s best returns as India captain came when he filled in for his predecessor Virat Kohli – the Nidahas Trophy tri-series and the Asia Cup in 2018, but ever since Rohit has taken over as India’s full-time captain, his record has been pretty ordinary as both captain and leader. The failure to reach the final of last year’s Asia Cup, or getting mowed down by England in the semifinal of the T20 World Cup, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that the BCCI bosses are probably second guessing themselves.
As India gears up for yet another World Cup – a third in as many years – in their quest to clinch an ICC title, former Australia opener Greg Blewett has thrown up some hard-hitting questions at the team management and BCCI. During a discussion on WillowTalk Podcast, Blewett shared his perspective, stating that he does not consider Rohit as the ideal choice to captain India. He also expressed astonishment that Rohit wasn’t removed from his leadership role following the disappointing performances in recent ICC tournaments. According to Blewett, Rohit is not the right candidate to lead India but since he is, India’s chances this World Cup don’t look bright.
“I am worried about India’s ODI captain. I really am. Rohit Sharma is just clinging on, and I would have thought that India might have made a move by now on the one-day leadership. I just can see it going wrong again for India. They always get to these World Cups and they just don’t get it done and I’m just not sure that Rohit is getting it done for them,” the former batter, who played 46 Tests and 32 ODIs for Australia between 1995 and 2000, pointed out.
Who then if not Rohit?
So who are the alternatives? KL Rahul is struggling to make it to the Test team, while Rishabh Pant – a young choice – is out injured. Hardik Pandya’s body cannot handle the rigours of all three format and Shreyas Iyer has short ball woes. With no solution in sight, one name that might come to mind is Kohli, the man whom Rohit succeeded. However, the fact that Kohli did not resume the captaincy when Rohit was unavailable, such as during the fifth rescheduled Test between India and England last year, suggests that Kohli may have moved on from that role.
Blewett does not have the answer yet but one thing he is certain of is that Rohit no longer deserves a place in India’s playing XI. In fact, Blewett has lost confidence in Rohit’s batting to such an extent that he believes Rohit’s presence in India’s Playing XI is primarily due to his role as captain.
“Virat as leader? I think he is done and I don’t know whether you can go back to him now. I don’t know, I just see that Rohit is just hanging by a thread. He is getting a game at the moment because he is captain. And I don’t know whether that’s the right way to go,” added Blewett.