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Kohli-Rohit captaincy analysis in limited-overs cricket

Anurag Sahoo
12.43K   //    25 Oct 2018, 10:09 IST

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Post MS Dhoni’s stint as captain of the Indian team, Virat Kohli has taken up the responsibility and has been doing his work really well. Owing to increased workload, Kohli, who has been the mainstay of the batting unit, has been rested for less competitive matches by BCCI quite frequently.

BCCI is clear that it does not want mental and physical fatigue to creep into Kohli keeping in mind that the 2019 World Cup is not far away. In Kohli's absence, Rohit Sharma handles the captaincy duties in the limited-overs matches.

Interestingly, Rohit's short stint as captain has attracted the eyeballs of experts. Let’s dig deeper and try to draw the strengths, weaknesses and compare their statistics in all the three formats of the game.

T20 cricket

T20 Cricket Statistics
T20 Cricket Statistics

MS Dhoni has been the flag bearer of India’s cricketing success post the T20 World Cup success in 2007. After Dhoni took the thoughtful decision of stepping down from captaincy, Kohli was chosen as the obvious replacement.

Kohli has been smashing records as a player and has continued doing the same after being escalated to the post of captaincy. The Indian team has reached new heights under him. With a healthy win percentage of 64 under his captaincy, the Indian team stands among the top three positions at any point in time. That is the level of consistency Team India has achieved under his captaincy.

Rohit, on the other hand, captains the side when Kohli is rested. He has a staggering win percentage of 88 under his belt as captain of the Indian team. Rohit’s experience in leading the Mumbai Indians side to multiple victories in IPL has helped him immensely.

On the contrary, Kohli’s hasn't led India to big tournament wins yet. Kohli has been shuffling the team structure frequently. Whereas, Rohit has been bringing together the seemingly right combinations and making them click.


The next edition of the T20 WC is scheduled to take place in October 2020. Two seasons of IPL will be played before that. In these two editions, the fortunes of Kohli and his team might change. RCB might go on to become the champions and that may convince the BCCI to continue with Kohli as a captain in the T20Is. It is too early to speculate what might transpire regarding the captaincy candidate for T20 WC 2020.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

ODI cricket:

Rohit Sharma: M 8 | W 7 | L 1| T 0| NR 0| % 87.5

Virat Kohli M 54| W 40| L 12| T 1| NR 1| % 76.41

Kohli has an astounding win percentage of about 76 as captain. This includes matches played in India and outside. On the other hand, Rohit, despite having a win percentage of 87.5, has not captained in significant number of matches to be considered a safe option. Also, Rohit has captained India when they were playing against relatively weaker opponents.

Kohli’s mental and physical toughness is what distinguishes him from other players. This side of him was also brought out recently when he outperformed a top quality England side after the 2014 debacle. Feats such as this, show that Kohli, with his enormous mental strength, can surely fulfill the role of being a great captain.

Test cricket:

Test Cricket Statistics
Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

In Test cricket, Kohli is riding comfortably with a win percentage of 57 and a loss percentage of 21. Rohit is yet to prove his mettle as a batsman in this format. Needless to say, Kohli will be captaining the Test side in the near future and in his absence, Rahane is likely to step in.

Based on the above analysis, Rohit can be seen as an ideal candidate for the captaincy in the T20 format of the game in the future. Kohli should continue with the captaincy in the Test and ODI format. Given that the World Cup is not far away, the rhythm of the team should not be disturbed.