5 challenges for Rohit Sharma as India's ODI captain
India's 24th ODI captain will have a few things on his plate when he leads his side in the three-match series against Sri Lanka.
“I have never seen someone time the ball better than him”. Virat Kohli had recently gushed about Rohit Sharma, conceding how every budding cricketer was jealous of the Mumbaikar’s stunning rise and subsequent entry into the Indian team a decade ago. Kohli was a virtual unknown then.
Five years after his debut, however, Rohit had lost out to Kohli when it came to sealing a Team India spot, and it looked like a career that had shown tremendous promise was on the verge of losing steam.
A further five years later, life has come a full circle for Rohit, who has been named India’s 24th ODI captain in the absence of a rested Kohli and looks to embark on a new journey post 30.
Here are five challenges that Rohit might have to encounter in his maiden assignment:
#5 Fixing middle-order woes
The Indian limited-overs batting has looked severely vulnerable in the middle-order, with the selectors playing a game of musical chairs to figure out who fits best in certain spots. Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik have all been tried out, with Shreyas Iyer joining the T20I side, and now the ODI team as well. With impetus being given to a strong core in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup, Rohit will have to make sure that the consistency stays as far as the thinking is concerned.
MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, on the merit of experience and form, occupy two slots automatically, and with Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan opening the batting, three batting spots will have to be filled between Jadhav, Pandey, Karthik and Iyer.
It’ll be interesting to see who gets a look-in, especially at the vacant No. 3 slot.