Rohit Sharma led India to its first tournament win under his captaincy, as they defeated Bangladesh to win the 2018 Nidahas Tri-series. It was the second T20I series win for Team India under Rohit Sharma, who defeated Sri Lanka last year in India.
As Rohit Sharma led team India bounced back to win the tournament after losing the first match, comparisons started brewing between the captaincy styles of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, especially in the T20 format. Social media had fans divided as some said Rohit is a better captain, while others voted for Virat Kohli.
Despite Rohit having captained India for only a short period of time, he has captaincy experience with Mumbai Indians in IPL and Virat Kohli too captained Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL before he was seen as a deputy for MS Dhoni in international cricket.
However, there are some reasons, which make Rohit Sharma a more natural choice for the captaincy in the shortest format of the game, than Virat Kohli.
Here are those 5 reasons, which suggest Rohit is a better T20 captain than Virat Kohli:
Rohit Sharma is much calmer than Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has reignited the kind of aggression that was seen in the Indian team during the times of Sourav Ganguly. Indian team gave everything back in kind to the opposition, verbally and on the field with their performances. His aggression sometimes crosses the boundary and enters the over-aggressive area. Virat sometimes takes undue risks as captain in the name of aggression.
Rohit Sharma, on the other hand, has shown calmness in terms of decision making when it comes to captains. The best example of this came in the IPL 2017 finals when they had to defend a paltry target against a formidable and in form RPS batting. Rohit kept calm and wisely made bowling decisions, which ultimately led to Mumbai Indians lifting a record third IPL title.
It is the difference between aggression and controlled aggression that Virat Kohli is yet to understand.
Rohit is a much better man manager than Kohli
Yes, Virat Kohli backs his players to the hilt when it comes to man management and has given us talents like Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. However, he sometimes goes too far in the backing process and doesn’t give them a break when needed. Despite seeing Rohit Sharma struggling in the Test series in South Africa, he didn’t utilize the best overseas Test player in Ajinkya Rahane, who was sitting on the bench.
Rohit Sharma on the other hand handles is players well. For example, he wasn’t hesitant to keep a fit-again Ambati Rayudu on the bench in IPL 2017, as he had found a better alternative in Nitish Rana and Krunal Pandya. He knew Rayudu was low on confidence and form before getting injured and decide to back other players, instead of putting Rayudu through the grind.
Rohit Sharma is more flexible in his plans than Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma has been extremely flexible with his planning during the matches. He has changed the field and bowling in an amazing manner, not giving anything to the batsmen to anticipate the next move of the opposition.
He started off with Washington Sundar, the 18-year-old off-spinner who was months old in the international cricket, against full strength Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi teams. His field placing during the final was excellent and he had a backup for plans.
Virat Kohli, on the other hand, is a stickler for plans even if they go awry. Two biggest examples came in the rain-marred ODI and T20I match against South Africa, when Chahal and Kuldeep on, despite Klaasen and Miller kept murdering them. Both the wrist spinners were finding it hard to grip or turn the ball and were getting hit. India lost the match as a result.
In the T20I match, Chahal faced the same problem again and despite having overs from both Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar in hand, he kept Chahal on and it resulted in India losing the match. Rohit even gave Suresh Raina overs in the middle when a bowler was having an off day; but Virat doesn’t trust any part-timer bowler, apart from Kedar Jadhav.
Rohit Sharma has more IPL titles than Virat Kohli
Royal Challengers Bangalore always have been the bridesmaid in the IPL, never the bride. They have been finalists three times, once under Virat Kohli in IPL 2016.
Mumbai, on the other hand, struggled to win a title until they decided to hand over the captaincy to the young Rohit Sharma in 2013 season and have gone on to become the champions three times in 2013, 2015 and 2017 seasons.
RCB have always had the best batsmen, bowlers, and spinners in their teams. Players like Anil Kumble, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Mitchell Starc and many others have been a part of the team since 2008, but none of them have been able to win them any title.
Mumbai, on the other hand, has built a team around their captain Rohit Sharma and with players like Pollard, the Pandya brothers and Jasprit Bumrah, have a good chance of defending their title this year.
Rohit Sharma has become more responsible and is a natural captain and leader of man, without been flashy and aggressive beyond need, something Virat Kohli has to inculcate in order to be counted upon as the best Indian captains.
Rohit the captain will take off the pressure on Virat the batsman
Everyone remembers the dip in form that Sachin Tendulkar faced when he was made captain during different times in his career. It wasn’t until Sourav Ganguly took over the reins and left Tendulkar to focus on his batting, that Tendulkar achieved his god status in the cricket annals.
Virat Kohli has been making more runs since becoming captain, but he is also under tremendous pressure to perform both as captain and as a batsman.
Rohit taking over from him may give Virat the full freedom needed to unleash his full potential, which may be subdued currently due to the additional responsibility as the captain.
Rohit, on the other hand, has scored more responsibly when he has been captain. His two half-centuries in the Nidahas Trophy were examples of a captain who knew he was responsible for putting up a big total on board for his bowlers to defend and then in the finals, he set up a good platform for the middle order to chase the total down.
Though Virat Kohli has been a very good captain for India in all the formats, Rohit Sharma may give better results in the shortest format, if made captain.