- Mumbai Indians led by India’s captain Rohit Sharma is currently sitting at the bottom of the points table
- This has led to speculation about future of Rohit Sharma as captain of the Indian Cricket Team
- The fact of the matter is that IPL performances rarely reflect captaincy credentials in the international arena
The IPL season is up and going. Apart from MS Dhoni’s blitzkriegs at 40, this season of IPL is going to be remembered for one more reason. IPL 2022 may turn out to be the worst season for a sitting Indian captain Rohit Sharma.
Mumbai Indians is tanking
Unfortunately, IPL 2022 is not turning out for him the way Captain Rohit Sharma wanted. Mumbai Indians, the team led by him is currently poised to not get a berth in famed qualifiers. Sharma led team is currently sitting at the bottom of the points table of 10 teams playing in the tournament. The 5 times champions have performed worse than even the two new entrants in the team.
Individually, Sharma has also not been up to the mark. His team has played 8 matches and not in one match has Sharma been able to lead from the front. Captain Rohit Sharma, India’s best limited-overs opener after Virendra Sehwag has failed to score even a half-century in IPL 2022. His highest score in IPL 2022 is 41. Moreover, he is also seen by many as having a defensive mindset.
Apart from some firepower from Dewald Brewis (Baby AB), stability from ever reliant Suryakumar Yadav and occasional flashes of brilliance from incumbent Tilak Varma and Ishan Kishan, the team has not been able to get any substantive support from anyone. Even in the bowling department, the team has been lacklustre as even famed bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Tymal Mills have been taken to the cleaners.
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Questions about Rohit’s captaincy
The lack of willingness on Rohit’s part to bring in key changes has led to some raising questions about his captaincy. The fact that Rohit is now 35 is also adding fuel to the fire. Apparently, people have started to believe that the IPL performance and its related aftereffects will reflect in performance of Rohit Sharma as India’s captain as well. However, it is not true, and historically there is very little evidence to prove a direct correlation between an established player’s performance in the IPL and the national team.
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Motivations for IPL and national teams are different
The thing about IPL is that the motivation for playing in the league is starkly different from playing for the country. Frankly speaking, IPL teams have a fully professional structure under which every player will complete his assigned work and return home. However, when it comes to playing for the national team, the pride of a fully sovereign nation is at stake. Players cannot afford to go haywire.
Naysayers may say that players also hold allegiance to their teams which are named after a certain region. However, the structure of that particular team rarely represents the feelings and passions associated with the geography. For instance, count the number of Bangalore players in the Royal Challengers Bangalore team and find out how many Karnataka players there are.
IPL has been ambidextrous for captains
The non-uniform nature of players in the team makes it difficult for captains to manage it with as much efficiency as they can do in their national team. History is filled with examples of captains who were marvellous for their national teams but failed miserably with their franchise ones. Ricky Ponting, the only captain in the modern era to usher in two ODI world cups proved to be a disastrous captain for Mumbai Indians. Similarly, others like Kumar Sangakkara, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson etc have not been as successful for their franchise teams as they have been for their national teams.
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On the flip side, players with very little captaincy experience have also proved to be game-changers for their teams. Shane Warne did it for Rajasthan Royals when he took guard of a team full of underdogs and made it victorious in the inaugural edition of IPL. It is pertinent to note that Warne was chosen as captain despite South Africa’s Graeme Smith playing in the XI. Similarly, Adam Gilchrist, who was vice-captain under Pointing also heralded the victory of the Deccan Chargers team.
Rohit Sharma is handling Mumbai Indians in transitions. Pollard is old and fragile. Similarly, new players like Brewis, Kishan and Varma will take their time to mature. Sharma is busy handling these difficulties. The last thing he would want is illogical questioning of his captaincy credentials based on his team’s IPL performance.