Rohit charts a steady course for ODI, to follow Kohli’s leadership model – The New Indian Express
NEW DELHI: India captain Rohit Sharma ruled out drastic squad changes on Saturday following the departure of Virat Kohli as skipper ahead of the hosts’ 1,000th one-day international against the West Indies.
Rohit begins his tenure as full-time ODI captain in Ahmedabad on Sunday for the first of three matches after replacing Kohli.
A hamstring injury ruled the 34-year-old out of India’s recent tour of South Africa, where he lost the Test series 2-1 and was shut out 3-0 in the ODIs.
“We’ve played good ODI cricket for a few years, more than four years in fact, so suddenly a series loss doesn’t mean there’s panic,” Rohit told reporters.
“The South African series was a great learning (experience) for us of what we haven’t done collectively as a team,” he added.
“What is important for us, going forward, is the clarity of the role of certain people in the team.”
While Kohli was known for his aggression during his seven-year tenure as captain in all formats, Rohit, who led the Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles, is known for leading with composure.
Rohit, nicknamed “Hitman” for his flamboyant striking and big shots, said he would not alter the pattern created by Kohli.
“When Virat was captain, I was the vice-captain, so we pretty much treated the team the same way,” Rohit said.
“I just have to pick up where he left. The team knows pretty much what is expected of them. And we want to continue on the same model,” he added.
“There’s nothing I need to come in and drastically change.”
– Duo covid and spin –
The Indian squad have been hit by Covid with four players, including Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer, testing positive ahead of the limited run.
Rohit said Ishan Kishan remains the only opener in the first ODI, when India will become the first international team to have played 1,000 matches at 50.
The opening batsman said he wanted to bring the rotation combination of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav back into the fold.
Chahal, a leg spinner, played the ODI series in South Africa, but Yadav, an injury-plagued left arm wrist spinner, last played an international for India in July.
“These two guys have been great performers for us in the past and they’ve certainly made an impact over those years every time they’ve played together,” Rohit said.
“In the middle they got left out because of the combination we wanted to achieve…but it’s definitely on my mind to bring them together, Kuldeep in particular,” he added.
“But we want to bring him in slowly. We don’t want him to rush into things.”