Shoaib Akhtar has claimed that if Virat is feeling fatigued, which looked the case in IPL where one could see boredom on his face, he should give Rohit the captaincy in one format. The former Pakistan pacer reckons Australia series will be his best chance to prove his captaincy caliber.
Ever since Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians to their fifth title win in the recently-concluded IPL 2020 in UAE, there have been increased calls for him to take over India's captaincy from the incumbent skipper Virat Kohli, whose side RCB couldn't go further than reaching the playoffs this IPL and failed to win the silverware yet again. With Virat Kohli set to miss most part of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, Rohit Sharma is going to play a major role both in terms of batting and leadership in the side.
Kohli is one of the most burdened players in the world cricket right now as he is active across formats for India as captain besides playing IPL year after year. Former Pakistan quick turned cricket expert, Shoaib Akhtar feels that if Virat Kohli is feeling fatigued which looked the case as he seemed stressed during IPL, he should hand over the reins in at least one format as Rohit has been ready to take over the captaincy for a while now.
"My take on it is pretty simple. From what I know Virat is very keen to take the team forward. It all depends on how fatigued he is feeling. He has been playing non-stop since 2010, has got 70 centuries and a mountain of runs under his belt," Akhtar told PTI, reported TOI.
"If he is feeling fatigued, then he should think about giving the leadership role to Rohit in one of the formats (preferably T20s). I could see the boredom on his face during the IPL, maybe it was because of the bio-bubble situation, he seemed a bit stressed out. It all depends on how he feels. Rohit has been ready for captaincy for a while."
Akhtar, who was one of the fastest bowlers during his heyday, reckons that Rohit now understands his talent well and the upcoming Australia series will be the best chance for him to prove his leadership qualities. He also added that if Rohit does well, the option of split captaincy should be open for debate.
"Rohit is one of the greatest batsmen India has produced. Now he also understands the real value of his talent. Australia will be his best chance to prove himself as captain. He should grab it with both hands. He has the talent and ability to lead the team. It will be a tough test for India and I would look for these kinds of situations as a player.
"The whole world would be looking at Rohit as captain and batsman. If he does well for himself and the team, then there should be a debate about split captaincy."
With Kohli missing from last three Tests against Australia, India will have their task cut out unlike the last time when they won the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2-1 in 2018/19 with Smith and Warner missing and their side at full strength. However, Akhtar is wary of India's middle-order failing and he also outlined the Day-Night Test, which starts the Test series as the toughest test for India.
"In my opinion, India have the ability to win again. But if their middle order doesn't perform, I see them struggling. People will be watching this series with great interest including myself. The day-night Test will be their toughest test. If India play well in those conditions, then you never know. The first two innings of the first Test will tell us where the series is headed."
The Border-Gavaskar trophy starts on December 17 in Adelaide with Day-Night Test.