"Honoured" Rohit Sharma speaks about being India's vice-captain
What's the story?
One of the biggest takeaways from India's squad for the ODI series against Sri Lanka was the announcement of Rohit Sharma as vice-captain. The 30-year-old admitted that when he started out in international cricket, his only thought was to represent the country.
Speaking to reporters after India's optional practice session in Pallekele, Rohit said: "It is a huge honour to be appointed as the vice-captain. Ten years ago, I was only thinking of playing for India. Being the vice-captain now feels really, really good.
"It's a kind of honour that whenever the opportunity comes - the first One-Dayer, when we come [play] on August 20 - there will be some sort of role that I will need to play, and I am looking forward to it. I am not thinking too much about it, I just want to enjoy the moment as of now. Yes, it will be a good opportunity for me to get on to the field."
He also added that while he isn't thinking about it a great deal, he is excited and looking forward to playing a "behind-the-scene role". He also spoke about the difference between captain in the IPL and being vice-captain for India
"It's a different ball game completely. IPL and when you come and play international cricket, it is completely different. But again, the excitement and the energy level is the same. So yes, nothing changes too much. I am the vice-captain here, there I was the captain, so I was more in front. Here I have to play a little behind-the-scene role. But yes, I will be very excited to step on to the field as the vice-captain of the Indian team."
In case you didn't know...
India announced their 15-man squad for the ODI series against Sri Lanka. While there were some key players who were rested, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah returned to the side after being rested for the series against West Indies. This was also the first time that Rohit has officially been announced as the vice-captain of the side.
Since MS Dhoni stepped down as limited-overs captain, Virat Kohli has taken over as captain. As one of the most experienced and consistent members of the squad, Rohit Sharma has been rewarded with the vice captaincy. He will be hoping to continue his impressive form with the bat as he looks set to open alongside Shikhar Dhawan in the first ODI at Dambulla.
After whitewashing Sri Lanka 3-0 in the Test series, India will take on Sri Lanka in the first of five ODIs on Sunday, August 20. As the No.3 ranked ODI side, India will be looking to continue their impressive Test form into the ODIs as well and close the gap on second-placed Australia.
Ever since he was promoted to open the innings in 2013, Rohit Sharma has undoubtedly been one of India's most consistent limited-overs batsman. Since that year, his ODI average in a calendar year has never gone down below 50 and since then he has also won three IPL titles with Mumbai Indians. He has shown that he is consistent and has the pedigree to captain the national side in the future and his appointment as vice-captain is just reward for his performances.