Irfan Pathan has insisted Rohit Sharma should lead the team in Australia instead of Ajinkya Rahane as he is a proven leader in the absence of Virat Kohli, who will be on paternity leave after the first Test. He further added that there is nothing more dangerous than a ‘hungry’ Rohit at the top.
India suffered a severe blow in the form of Virat Kohli, who has been granted paternity leave after the first Test, but Rohit Sharma making it back into the team has instilled some confidence for the men in blue. However, with Kohli gone, there will be a leadership vacuum, which is expected to be fille by Ajinkya Rahane, who remains vice-captain in India's revised squad for the Australia Tests.
Interestingly, former Indian pacer Irfan Pathan insisted that Sharma should be the one leading the team in Kohli's absence despite Rahane being the designated deputy for a while. He also added that there’s "nothing more dangerous than a hungry" Rohit opening the innings, especially after his injury. The Mumkaikar has led Mumbai Indians to multiple IPL titles and won two major trophies for India in Nidahas Trophy and Asia Cup.
"Nothing against Rahane but Rohit has to captain. He is a proven leader and has the required experience. His role as an opener will be equally crucial. He is the guy you want to play in Australia. I remember ODI series in 2008 and he was new but did quite well on Australian pitches. He will be raring to go after the injury,” Pathan said as quoted by TOI.
"There is nothing more dangerous for the opposition than a hungry Rohit Sharma. Playing abroad is always a tough challenge but when Rohit is in form conditions don't matter.”
Pathan further stated that the absence of Kohli cannot be understated and will have a huge impact on the team, which will be hard to manage.
"Virat Kohli not being there will have a huge impact on the team but you have to respect his decision. We have to accept and appreciate life beyond cricket, family is very important. On the field it is bound to make a massive difference and it is very tough for anyone to fill his shoes. The way he has performed over the years and in all conditions," Pathan said.