He made this observation during a discussion on the ESPNcricinfo show T20 Time Out.
Gautam Gambhir started by pointing out that Rohit Sharma not becoming the Indian cricket team's captain would be the country's loss, considering that the Mumbaikar has led his franchise to an unprecedented five IPL titles.
"If Rohit Sharma does not become the Indian captain, it is India's misfortune and not his. Because if a player wins the IPL trophy five times, you can surely say that a captain is as good as his team, absolutely a captain is as good as his team."
The former Indian opener observed that the same parameters should be used to rate all captains. He cited the example of MS Dhoni being hailed as India's most successful captain due to the number of trophies he has won.
"But what is the parameter to judge a captain, about who is a good captain and who is not. You will have to keep the benchmark same everywhere, we used to say earlier that MS Dhoni is India's most successful captain because he has won two World Cups and three IPLs."
He added that Rohit Sharma has been the most successful captain in IPL history, and that the same parameters make him the best candidate to lead the Indian team in limited-overs cricket.
"Rohit Sharma is the most successful captain in the IPL because he has won the IPL five times. So going ahead if he is not given the white-ball or T20 captaincy, then it is a shame because Rohit Sharma cannot do anything more than this. He can only lead the team he is captaining to a win."
Gautam Gambhir on the captaincy credentials of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli
Gautam Gambhir opined that India could even go the split captaincy route with Rohit Sharma being the limited-overs captain and Virat Kohli being the Test skipper.
"So as I said, if Rohit Sharma does not become a regular captain of the Indian team going ahead, it will be the Indian team's misfortune and a lot of people will also say that Rohit Sharma was there at the wrong time when Virat Kohli was the captain but you can do a split captaincy."
He reasoned that there is a stark difference in the captaincy returns of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the IPL. The former has led the Mumbai Indians to five titles, while the latter is still in search of his first piece of silverware with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
"There is nothing wrong with split captaincy because Rohit Sharma has shown that how much difference is there between his and Virat Kohli's white-ball captaincy. One player has won the IPL five times and the other player has not won the IPL even once."
Gautam Gambhir signed off by stating that Virat Kohli may not be a bad captain but Rohit Sharma has certainly outperformed him with his outstanding captaincy record in the IPL.
"And I am not saying that Virat Kohli is a bad captain but Virat Kohli has also got the same platform that Rohit Sharma has got. So you will judge the two players from the same platform. Both have captained for almost the same duration in the IPL and that is why I feel that Rohit Sharma stands out as a leader."
With India having not won an ICC limited-overs trophy under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, there have been suggestions in certain quarters for the Indian team to go with a split captaincy approach.
The selectors have resisted going down that route to date, but Rohit Sharma's excellent captaincy record for the Mumbai Indians does provide a compelling argument for him being given the reins of the Indian limited-overs teams.
Published 11 Nov 2020, 14:51 IST