Virat Kohli is very much concerned about his individual performances across matches. This sentiment of the former white-ball captain had proven to be detrimental for the Indian Cricket Team at large. Since 2017, under Kohli’s captaincy, the Indian team has proven to be a dud in ICC championships and tournaments. Opposition to Virat Kohli’s captaincy has not only been a phenomenon present within the team itself, but among Indians at large – who could not tolerate individual interests and goals superseding the interests of the team and nation as a whole. TFI had reported how Virat Kohli’s attitude had led to a mutiny within team India, whose mantle was carried forward by Ravichandran Ashwin.
Now, Rohit Sharma has taken a shot at the former white-ball captain. In an interview with YouTube channel, Xtra Time, Rohit Sharma said, “When you play the sport, you want to achieve the best. And I feel the best I feel is winning the championship. You might score many runs, many hundreds but winning that championship always stays with you. You know why? Because that’s a collective effort from the team.”
On the show, ‘Backstage with Boria,’ the new ODI and T20I captain said, “At the end of the day, we play a team game. It’s not individual sport. So, what you achieve as a team is very, very important to me. It’s something that I want to achieve that team goal – which is to win the championships. We have a few world cups coming up. There is a lot of things we need to do to get that championship.”
Handing over the reins of captaincy has never been a peaceful affair in cricket. Rohit Sharma’s appointment as the captain of the Indian Cricket team also met a similar fate as it required a stern Virat Kohli to be thrown out from the post.
Read More: Virat Kohli had to be thrown out to make Rohit Sharma the captain
Though Kohli performed above average as a captain in bilateral series, his controversies and activism cost him much desired traction from the Indian public. He has been heavily criticized for keeping in-form Ashwin out of the team in limited-overs as well as from the test team. Similarly, except for Kohli, Rohit, and Bumrah, no player felt secured for his place in the team under Kohli’s captaincy. Loose charactered players like Hardik Pandya were dominant names in Kohli’s XI.
Read more: Why Virat Kohli needs to give the Test skipper cap to Rohit Sharma and be cool about it
Virat Kohli did not operate with the trust of the team. He was his own man, and did not really consider the varied opinions of others. Of course, as captain, his decision was to be final – but one cannot ignore the impact his dismissiveness would have had on the morale and performance of the team at large. Many also believe that Virat Kohli was over-concerned about his own performance, looking to make 100 centuries as soon as possible, thus beating Sachin Tendulkar’s record.
It is in this context that Rohit Sharma has said that cricket is not an individual sport. Under his leadership, the team spirit in India’s cricketers will return, and they will unleash their fullest potential on-field – not clouded by the fandom of one man. In Virat Kohli’s absence, Rohit Sharma took India to the Asia Cup and the Nidhas Trophy titles in 2018. He is also the most successful captain in Indian Premier League history, with 5 trophies on his shelf, compared to Kohli’s zilch.
On the other hand, over the past two years, Virat Kohli has scored 560 runs in 12 ODIs without a century. His average during this period is 46.66, well below his career average of 59.07. In 20 T20Is during the same period, he has scored 594 runs at 49.50, while in 13 Tests in the last two years, he made 599 runs at an average of 26.04.
Virat Kohli has not scored an international hundred since November 2019. His clock has been stuck on 70 centuries, refusing to tick further. Under Virat Kohli’s captaincy, India has attained the ‘Choker’ tag for losing in the semifinals and finals of key tournaments. He has led India in 45 T20s, resulting in just 27 wins.
Rohit Sharma has now set the record straight. The team spirit of the Indian squad is said to make a strong comeback, and the hegemony of one player and one coach has been dismantled.