Ravi Shastri backs Rohit Sharma to succeed Virat Kohli as India's T20 captain

Tenures of captain and coach ended with a win against Namibia but exit from T20 World Cup

Ravi Shastri has endorsed Rohit Sharma to take over the captaincy of the India T20 side from Virat Kohli.

Kohli oversaw his last game in charge in the format as India beat Namibia in the T20 World Cup in Dubai on Monday night.

Shastri also ended his own tenure as coach of the side after the game, after four-and-a-half years in charge. He believes India have a ready-made replacement for Kohli.

“In Rohit, you have a very capable guy,” said Shastri, who will be succeeded by Rahul Dravid.

“He has won so many IPLs, he is vice captain of this side. He is ready in the wings to take that job.”

Kohli will stay on in the role of captain of India’s Test and one-day international teams, and Shastri insists the split leadership model can work.

“I think it is not such a bad thing,” Shastri said.

“Because of the bubble, and because of how much cricket is being played, the players need to be rotated and given the space they need to spend some time with their families and see their parents.

“When a guy does not go home for six months, he might have his family with him, but he won’t get chance to see his parents. It is not easy at all.”

Kohli bows out of captaincy with a win

In the aftermath of a disappointing campaign, which saw them miss out on the knockout phase to Pakistan and New Zealand, Shastri cited bubble fatigue as the reason for India’s underperformance.

“This is not an excuse, this is a fact: there are a lot of players in this team who play all three formats of the game,” Shastri said.

“In the last 24 months, they have been home for 25 days. I don’t care who you are – if your name is Bradman – if you are in a bubble as well your average will come down because you are human.

“It is not the case that you put petrol in the backside and expect the guy to move on in overdrive.

“These are tough times. That’s why I say in life, it’s not what you accomplish, it’s what you overcome. That’s what this team has done.”

The outgoing coach predicted he might be commentating by the time the next T20 World Cup happens next year, and he believes India will be a threat at that competition in Australia.

“We lacked daring in the second game against New Zealand,” he said.

“It is something for the boys to learn, and they will get an opportunity again next year. It is not often you have World Cups within 12 months, so hopefully they will go and kick some butt there.”

New Zealand beat India by 8 wickets

Updated: November 9th 2021, 5:45 AM
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