Image Source: Twitter ( Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma )
Rohit Sharma has replaced Virat Kohli as India’s ODI captain. Unlike the T20I captaincy change, where the announcement came from Kohli, citing his workload, this is a BCCI decision, to remove him as ODI skipper.
Three months ago, while relinquishing T20I captaincy, Kohli had expressed his desire to lead India in Tests and ODIs, going ahead. “Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all 3 formats and captaining regularly for last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian team in Test and ODI cricket"
On Wednesday, as the cricket board put out a press release announcing the Test squad for the South Africa tour, its last line touched upon the ODI captaincy replacement: “The All-India Senior Selection Committee also decided to name Mr. Rohit Sharma as the Captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward.” The one-liner confirmed Kohli’s removal as ODI captain.
Indian cricket has barely dealt with split captaincy, two power centers in the team. It would be interesting to see how the new head coach Rahul Dravid handles this going ahead. Under Kohli, India has scaled unprecedented heights in Tests and as for now, he remains the long-form captain. But even there also, Rohit is now a very important part of the leadership group.
Jayant Yadav, who impressed during his Test comeback after four years, retained his place as the second frontline spinner behind R Ashwin. Also back in the mix was Shardul Thakur, with the squad having six fast-bowling options to go with the two main spinners.
Indias middle-order bears a familiar look with all of Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane retained from the line-up that played against New Zealand.
Squad: Virat Kohli (Capt),Rohit Sharma(vc), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant(wk), Wriddhiman Saha(wk), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj. pic.twitter.com/6xSEwn9Rxb— BCCI (@BCCI) December 8, 2021
Vihari is the only one to have been brought in from the A squad currently on tour, although four of the players with India A will remain with the senior team as part of the reserve bowling contingent: fast bowlers Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, and Arzan Nagwaswalla, and left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar.