The brand new-looking Indian team got off to a rollicking start with a satisfying win against the Kiwis. The team under Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid’s leadership looks to make amends to this year’s ICC T20 world cup performance. They have a year to come up with a full-proof strategy and a battle-hardened team that beliefs in itself about lifting the world cup in Australia.
India under Virat Kohli’s captaincy achieved many a feat in T20 cricket. However, an ICC trophy eluded the team. There are hopes from Rohit Sharma to change team India’s fortunes. Murmurs have already begun about Sharma’s competency and skillful handling of a T20 team when compared to Virat Kohli.
There is enough merit in this proposition. The biggest T20 tournament other than the ICC T20 world cup is the IPL and Rohit Sharma has an incredible 5 titles in IPL. Compare this with Virat Kohli’s nil titles, the argument begins to make sense. Prior to the 2021 ICC T20 world cup, certain quarters of Indian cricket fans had started demanding a change in leadership of limited-overs cricket.
It has been a long-standing belief that Sharma would be able to marshal the T20 team better and deliver more substantial results. With the win over New Zealand in the first T20I, this belief seems to become more concretized. We look at 5 reasons why Sharma has already started to look more comfortable as the T20I captain when compared to Virat Kohli.
1. Finishing a clinical chase
India’s biggest problem in T20 cricket has been the inability to chase or finish games from pressure situations. On the contrary, whatever be the situation, Mumbai Indians have trusted their skills and ability and made it to the knockouts. The Indian team’s trust in their own selves to be able to get the work done has been minimal over the past few years. However, that already seems to change as was witnessed in the first T20I against New Zealand. Rishabh Pant held onto his nerve and finished the game for India with 2 balls spare.
2. Team selection looks crystal clear
The team selection for the first T20I seemed perfect. Shreyas Iyer made a comeback into the eleven. R Ashwin continued to the magical game and was not unnecessarily dropped. Venkatesh Iyer was played as a finisher and did his job. Bhuvi was trusted as the team’s premier pacer and he proved his worth. The team looks settled and everyone knows what their role is. This type of clarity and communication earlier hampered team performance.
3. Had broken the toss jinx already
This may be comical or satirical but Virat Kohli had the worst luck with tosses. His jinx with tosses has haunted him for long. He lost two of the most crucial tosses in UAE during the world cup. The tournament was of the nature of “win the toss, win the game”. In 50 T20I matches, Kohli was captained, India lost 30 tosses. In the world cup, the first three matches that India’s qualification to the knockouts was determined, India lost all three tosses. Rohit Sharma has broken this jinx of the toss in his first game as the full-time captain by winning the toss against New Zealand.
4. Leading from the front
Rohit Sharma’s batting in T20s needs no introduction. He can change the complexion of the match in a matter of overs. He is known for giving excellent starts to the team and is brilliant with optimizing the power play overs. He showed his batting acumen in the T20 against the Kiwis when he gave India a brilliant start. He scored 48 off 36 balls which included two towering sixes. This start ensured that the run rate was always under control.
5. Record in T20Is is an astounding 80% wins
Rohit Sharma has captained India in 20 T20Is so far and he has managed to win 16 of them. His captaincy win record is an outstanding 80%. If he continues to hold on to this record, then India will be one of the best T20 teams in the world and will be extremely difficult to beat. Virat Kohli after captaining 50 matches had a winning record of 65%.