Choosing Rishabh Pant over Dinesh Karthik behind stumps is typical Virat Kohli Captaincy
There is a clear contrast in the captaincy styles of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. While Kohli wears his heart on his sleeve, Rohit is cool as a cucumber ala, MS Dhoni.
Kohli has a clear preference for cricketers who are swash-buckling and flamboyant whereas Rohit prefers those who bring in more solidity and maturity to the team.
One of the intriguing things going into the Australia T20Is was to see who Virat Kohli would prefer from among the two wicket-keeper batsmen at his disposal for the series.
In the just concluded T20I series against the Windies, in Kohli’s absence, Rohit Sharma was the Captain. It came as no surprise when Rohit preferred to have Dinesh Karthik as the wicket-keeper in the Windies series.
His preference for experienced players who would bring in a sense of calm to the proceedings, as was evident in his backing of Ambati Rayudu during the Asia Cup, is well-known.
He has largely been successful with that sort of strategy as a Captain of both the national side as well as with Mumbai Indians.
So, when Kohli was back as Captain for the Australia T20I series, one wondered whether he would continue with Karthik as the one behind the stumps, or give Rishabh Pant that responsibility.
It was an important decision considering the fact that it would give an idea of who his preference for the second wicketkeeper's position for 2019 ICC World Cup is, and possibly who he thinks is going to be his preferred choice for wicket-keeper in the 2020 T20 World Cup.
Just like Rohit’s selection of Karthik over Pant was no surprise, similarly, it came as no surprise when Kohli decided to hand over the wicket-keeper’s gloves to the more flamboyant young wicket-keeper from Delhi.
Rohit’s selection of Karthik as a wicket-keeper proved quite a success. Whether Kohli too finds success with a style of captaincy as different from Rohit’s as chalk is to cheese, is something that only time will tell.