“A captain needs to stand at (the) forefront while performing, and for everything else needs to stand at the back,” Rohit informed an occasion earlier than his appointment to at least one of most excessive-strain jobs in world sport.
The skipper “can make a difference by standing at the back because then he can make sure he puts his hand around everyone”, he stated. The captain must be “the least important member of the team”.
Kohli, his detractors would argue, felt the other.
He was the star, the centre of consideration and the in-your-face riler of opposing groups and umpires alike, consistently marshalling and needling his troops.
What the 2 males have in widespread although is their prowess with the bat, albeit once more with a special strategy.
Kohli — who surprised the cricket world by stepping down as Test captain in January — is the swashbuckling quantity three or 4, at all times busy between the wickets and grinding down the opposition.
Rohit, nicknamed “The Hitman”, is the rock-strong opener who from Chennai to Chester-Le-Street can shortly tear aside a bowling assault, blasting boundaries to all corners.
He averages simply shy of 47 in Tests, second solely to Kohli amongst present Indian gamers, and over 58 since he began opening the batting for India in October 2019.
Born to humble beginnings in Nagpur, the run machine made his Test debut in 2013, however was subsequently out and in of the facet over the following six years, solely cementing his place with twin a whole bunch in opposition to South Africa in his first match as opener, since when he has by no means appeared again.
“I like Hitman, I love watching his cricket,” former England batsman Kevin Pietersen stated earlier than the announcement, one of a bunch of Indian and international cricket greats together with former India coach Ravi Shastri to again him for the job.
Kohli is one of the most effective batsmen of his technology. Under his management India shot up the world rankings and have become a drive to be reckoned with outdoors the subcontinent.
This included successful a Test sequence in Australia for the primary time, however India didn’t win a single worldwide championship throughout Kohli’s tenure.
Rohit’s success as captain in restricted overs cricket — he already changed Kohli as white ball captain in December — offers Indian followers hope this drought will finish.
With Rohit as captain, Indian Premier League facet Mumbai Indians have gained a file 5 titles. Under Kohli, Bangalore by no means lifted the trophy.
Whether he can repeat the magic with the desires of 1.4 billion Indians on his shoulders stays to be seen.
His management abilities will likely be sorely examined in a 12 months of the T20 World Cup and the continuing Test championship with an in-kind Australia set to tour India in September. Next 12 months is the one-day World Cup.
One fear is Rohit’s age — at 34 he’s 18 months older than Kohli — and the related health worries.
He already skipped the current tour of South Africa, and his physique contrasts with lean-and-imply health fanatic Kohli, typically making him the butt of social media jokes.
Many would anticipate Rohit to stay as captain just for round two years, veteran sports activities journalist Sharda Ugra informed AFP.
She added: “The case with Rohit was that he literally ended up as the last man standing in terms of captaincy and seniority.”