Sunil Gavaskar warns Rohit Sharma: ‘Leading a national team different than captaining an IPL franchise’

Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar believes Rohit Sharma is a proven T20 captain but leading the Indian team would not be same as leading an IPL franchise. 

Warning the new T20I captaun for India, Gavaskar told India Today that international success has nothing to do with what you have done in domestic tournaments/IPL. 

He said, “Rohit Sharma is absolutely ready to carry the baton forward. It is a new beginning for Indian T20 cricket under the leadership of Rohit. 

“Generally, a captain is only as good as his team. I know Rohit has won five IPL trophies under his captaincy but leading a national team is completely different to leading your state team or franchise.”

Rohit has led India in the past in the absence of Virat Kohli. He had won India some important series and Cups as well, Nidahas Trophy and the Asia Cup being the two important titles. Asia Cup was a 50-over tournament while Nidahas Trophy was a 20-over event. 

He has also won five IPL trophies for Mumbai Indians. However, Gavaskar feels it does not guarantee international success for Rohit as a captain. 

He said, “Just like a good first-class cricketer, he doesn’t necessarily turn out to be a great international cricketer. It goes to the captains also, no matter how many titles you have won for your state team or franchise, it doesn’t guarantee success at the international level.”

Gavaskar also has words of praise for India’s new vice-captain in T20Is KL Rahul, who the former India opener believes got the vice-captaincy because of his ability to play in all three formats of the game.

He said, “KL Rahul has been marked as a future leader by the selectors. He has been the captain of Punjab Kings in the IPL and, above all, he plays in all 3 formats for India. I think Rahul playing in all three formats is the reason why he has been elevated to the role of vice-captain.”

The immediate assignment for Rohit Sharma will be the three-match T20I series against New Zealand. The squad for the series was announced on Tuesday (9 November). Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammaed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Varun Chakravarthy are some key names missing from the squad.  The BCCI press release that announced the squad did not include the reasons why these players are missing. That whether they have been rested, out due to injury or dropped is still not clear. 

The series against New Zealand begins on 17 November in Jaipur. The second T20I will be played in Ranchi while the last game is scheduled to take place in Kolkata.

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Sagar Biswas

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