India captain Rohit Sharma has been absent from the national T20I side and has also decided to take a break from the ODI format for the series against South Africa. While fans are hopeful for his return to white-ball cricket, there have been discussions regarding his continuity as India’s skipper. Although India did not win the ODI World Cup 2023 under Rohit’s leadership, their campaign as hosts was far from disappointing. However, it is also true that no other Indian skipper has managed to crack the ICC code in the Indian team since MS Dhoni.
Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s veteran spinner, provided an insightful analysis of Rohit as a captain, cricketer, and person, highlighting the respect he commands in the dressing room. Ashwin stated, “If you take a look at Indian cricket, everybody will be telling you that MS Dhoni is the best captain. (But), Rohit Sharma is an outstanding person, (and) he understands every single player in the team. He knows the likes and dislikes of each of us and has a great understanding. He puts in the effort to know each player personally,” in a video on his YouTube channel.
Rohit proved his worth in the ODI World Cup by consistently providing India with strong starts at the top, including in the final. However, it was the Australian team that emerged victorious in the summit clash.
There were discussions about Ashwin’s inclusion in the final, but ultimately he remained on the bench. Nevertheless, the experienced off-spinner was prepared to support the team wholeheartedly from the sidelines. Ashwin explained, “As far as me playing the final is concerned, the team combination and all is secondary. Firstly, it’s about empathy, (and) I keep stressing it a lot. It’s like standing in someone else’s shoes and looking at things from his/her perspective. Had I been in Rohit’s shoes, I would have thought 100 times about altering the (winning) combination. It was going alright for the team, so why rest a fast bowler for three spinners?”
“Honestly, I understood Rohit Sharma’s thought process. Playing the final is big, (and) I was preparing for three days in the lead-up. At the same time, I was also prepared to cheer for the side and run in with energy drinks if I was not given the opportunity. I was mentally prepared for that as well,” Ashwin concluded.
This article discusses Rohit Sharma’s absence from the national T20I and ODI teams, his role as India’s captain, and the respect he garners in the dressing room. It also highlights Ashwin’s understanding of Rohit’s decision-making process and his willingness to support the team, even if he didn’t get a chance to play in the ODI World Cup final.