With India set to begin their World Cup campaign with a warm-up match against New Zealand on Saturday, Rohit Sharma has spoken about his role in the team as opener and vice-captain. He also spoke about Virat Kohli’s captaincy and how he sees his responsibility as Kohli’s deputy.
Speaking to The Times of India, Rohit said, “Kohli has got a great squad. And he’s done a great job as captain in the last couple of years. I will be there to play my part whenever he needs my help.
“Whatever matters for the team is priority No. 1.”
Kohli had himself said in a recent interview that he often turns to MS Dhoni and Rohit for guidance whenever in doubt in limited-overs cricket.
Rohit Sharma has led India in Kohli’s absence in recent years. He captained the team for the first time in December 2017 in a series against Sri Lanka, which India won 2-1. Since then, he has been at the helm of the team as stand-in skipper in nine matches, eight of which India won. Rohit has an 88.88% success rate as captain in ODIs.
Having captained Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since 2013, Rohit has already become the most successful captain in the tournament, leading the Mumbai franchise to four IPL titles.
Speaking about how he has changed as a cricketer from his earlier days, Rohit said, “I’ve become more aware of my surroundings and responsibilities. Now, it’s not just myself I have to care about but others too.”
Asked to comment on whether he thinks the Indian team lacks muscle in the middle order, Rohit said the top three have to take on the responsibility of the bulk of the scoring.
“I think we have that component (a middle-order gamechanger) should we need it. But let me put it this way – that onus lies on the top 3. Between me, Shikhar (Dhawan) and Virat, it is our job to get that going. Between the three of us, we want to keep doing this as consistently as we can. It’s not like maine kal banaya, aaj tu bana (I scored yesterday, today you do it),” he said.