Former Team India batter Mohammad Kaif believes that the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final encounter against England will be Rohit Sharma's hardest test to date as captain. The Mumbai-born player, who is leading the side for the first time in a World Cup, boasts a great record in his first year of captaincy since taking over from Virat Kohli in late 2021.
Coming into the T20 World Cup 2022, India took part in the 2022 Asia Cup, but the team arguably underperformed in the tournament. Losses to Sri Lanka and Pakistan in the Super 4 stage sealed their exit from the continental competition in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
While Rohit Sharma has led the Mumbai Indians (MI) for almost a decade now, winning five IPL titles in the process, leading the nation in a World Cup is a whole different challenge.
Praising Rohit for making an impact with his astute captaincy, Kaif said in an exclusive interaction with Sportskeeda:
"I consider Rohit Sharma as a very good player, but the time has come where the next two matches are the most important ones. The next match is the biggest one for Rohit Sharma as captain, he has had a great record since taking over as T20 captain. I think he has brought an impact with his captaincy. The value he has brought in with his captaincy is immense."
Rohit recently became the most successful T20I captain in a calendar year after leading India to 22 wins in 2022, overtaking Pakistan skipper Babar Azam's record of 21 wins in 2021.
"I will not be surprised at all if he scores big in that semi-final" - Mohammad Kaif backs Rohit Sharma to be among the runs against England
Rohit has had a lean tournament with the bat so far, with his fifty against the Netherlands in Sydney being the only knock of prominence.
While he has looked good in patches, he has not been able to spend time in the middle, score big runs or even exploit the powerplay to the team's advantage.
Praising the skipper's relationship with his teammates, Kaif said:
"Players feel at home with Rohit Sharma as the captain. The support he provides, placing a hand on the player's shoulder, this is a huge factor especially in a World Cup."
Terming Rohit a big-match player, Kaif concluded:
"His bat has not been talking much but I think that he is a big-match player. He likes playing against England and I will not be surprised at all if he scores big in that semi-final. He has that X-Factor, whenever there is pressure, he plays a match-winning knock."
India are scheduled to face England in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, November 10.
Will Rohit Sharma make an impact in the upcoming semi-final encounter? Let us know what you think.