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KOHLI vs ROHIT: THE BETTER WHITE-BALL CAPTAIN?

The debate is mainly based on the performances of Kohli and Rohit as IPL captains and the potential shown by the latter in a few India games.

Comparisons in cricket, like any other aspect of life, has always been common. Indian cricket is now considered AS one of the powerhouses of world cricket and one of the key reasons for it is the presence of two world-class batters, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the same lineup. While both form the core of the batting lineup and together can destroy any bowling lineup in the world, the debate around who is the better white-ball captain has been going around for a long time now.

Talks that Rohit should replace Kohli as a shorter-format captain started gaining ground when under Rohit’s captaincy the Mumbai Indians became the strongest team in IPL and started winning trophies consistently. Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, in stark contrast, have never won the IPL title despite it boasting of many big stars in their batting lineup. This has led to many cricket experts praising the man-management skills of Rohit and his ability to cease key moments in the match.

Under Kohli’s captaincy, RCB have not been able to find the right balance which has ignited the talk about Rohit being better suited to captain India in white-ball cricket. Another point that goes in favour of Rohit is his experience of winning big tournaments like the IPL (five times), whereas India and RCB have failed to win a single major title under Kohli’s captaincy.

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One of the hallmarks of Rohit’s captaincy, according to many experts, is his ability to back young players and not chopping and changing frequently which has been lacking in Kohli’s captaincy for India in the shorter format and even for RCB. One prime example is the much-debated No 4 position during the period from 2015 to the 2019 World Cup, during which India tried 12 players in four years and resulted in no player getting a stable opportunity to cement his place and the consequences of which were seen in the World Cup semi-final.

Kohli RCB captaincy record
Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore have never won an IPL title. (Credit: BCCI)

While comparing international cricket with the IPL may not be always right, Rohit has looked assured as a captain in the limited opportunities he has got. India won the Asia Cup and Nidahas Trophy under his captaincy. Kohli’s overall record as captain is fantastic (65 of 95 matches won) and his experience as an international captain cannot be compared to Rohit and will always be an advantage.

Thus, this debate of who is the better captain is mainly based on the performances of Kohli and Rohit as captains in the IPL and the potential shown by Rohit in IPL and limited opportunities in international cricket where the sample size of matches captained by Rohit is too small.

In conclusion, we can say that Rohit is a better IPL captain than Kohli but as far as the overall shorter formats are concerned, it may be too early to pass the judgement unless India decide to hand over the ODI and T20I captaincy to Rohit. As of now, Rohit has shown all the traits of being calmer and more clearer in his plans in crunch situations which can be utilised in future for the betterment of Indian cricket.

Written by Aashay Chopade

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