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Batter of Virat Kohli’s quality needed in team: Rohit Sharma

"The quality and his kind of batsmanship is required. Plus, he is still a leader of the team. His presence is very important to the team,": Rohit on Kohli.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: December 9, 2021 5:22:52 pm
Rohit Sharma was named India's new ODI skipper after he replaced Virat Kohli as captain for the upcoming South Africa tour. (File)

Rohit Sharma on Wednesday was named India’s new ODI skipper after he replaced Virat Kohli as captain for the upcoming South Africa tour. However, Kohli is still the Test captain for the Test series against South Africa with Rohit acting as his deputy.

This development comes just after a month when Rohit took over the mantle of the Indian T20I team from Kohli.

Now, in a chat on the show ‘Backstage with Boria’, organised by veteran sports journalist Boria Majumdar, new captain Rohit Sharma outlined the importance of having Kohli in the dressing room.

“A batter of Kohli’s quality is always needed in the squad. To have an average of 50 plus in the T20 format, it is crazy and unreal. Obviously, with the experience he has, he has batted and bailed India out so many times from difficult situations.

“The quality and his kind of batsmanship is required. Plus, he is still a leader of the team. All those things put together, you don’t want to miss out. You don’t want to ignore that kind of stuff. His presence is very important to the team,” said Rohit.

Kohli has been one of India’s most successful white-ball captains. In 95 ODIs, he won 65, giving him a winning percentage of 70-plus. In 45 T20Is, he led India to victory 27 times. Sharma has been Kohli’s longstanding deputy in limited-overs cricket, captaining the team in 10 ODIs and 19 T20Is before he was given full-time charge during the recent three-match home series against New Zealand. He started with a clean sweep. Five IPL titles leading Mumbai Indians made him a shoo-in as Kohli’s successor.

Kohli took over limited-overs captaincy from Dhoni in 2017 and under him India won limited-overs series in every country. But he failed to triumph in ICC events. The closest India came to annexing global silverware was at the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, where the team lost to Pakistan in the final.

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