Pragyan Ojha has revealed that Adam Gilchrist first recognised the leadership qualities in Rohit Sharma while playing for Deccan Chargers, and wanted him to be the vice-captain of the IPL franchise. Ojha also added that the team management was keen to appoint Rohit as Gilchrist's successor.
The BCCI on Wednesday, December 8, appointed Rohit Sharma as India's full-time ODI captain, and he will take over the role from Virat Kohli. After the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021, Rohit was also handed over the T20I captaincy, and he led the Men in Blue to a clean sweep in the subsequent three-match home T20I series against New Zealand. The Indian opening batsman has also been appointed as Kohli's deputy in Test cricket.
Rohit has had great success as an IPL captain, having led Mumbai Indians to five title wins. In the initial years of the cash-rich league, Rohit played for Deccan Chargers from 2008-2010. The 34-year-old was then purchased by Mumbai Indians in 2011, and since then the right-hander has been one of the mainstays for the franchise.
Meanwhile, former India cricketer Pragyan Ojha has revealed that Adam Gilchrist first recognised the leadership qualities in Rohit while he was in charge of the Deccan Chargers and wanted, Rohit to be the vice-captain of the side.
"When Rohit first came into the Mumbai side, he was never projected as a leader. Slowly things started to change when he was put in the core group of the Deccan Chargers. Adam Gilchrist wanted Rohit Sharma to be the vice-captain," Ojha said on Cricbuzz Live.
Deccan Chargers lifted the IPL trophy in 2009, and Rohit scored 362 runs from 16 matches that season and scalped 11 wickets. Overall, Rohit scored 1,170 runs in 45 matches for Deccan Chargers.
Ojha revealed how Rohit started giving feedbacks about certain players and discussed game plans while playing for Deccan Chargers, which made the team management notice the leadership qualities in him.
“It had just maybe been two years that he had started playing international cricket but when he used to give feedback about certain players or give a certain game plan then the team management started to see the leadership qualities in him.”
Rohit has led India in 22 T20Is, with the team winning 18 out of them. In ODIs, the team has won eight matches out of 10 under his leadership. In the IPL, Rohit has captained the side in 153 matches, winning 96 and losing 57. Ojha further added that there was discussion within the DC management that Rohit might be the potential replacement for Gilchrist as captain.
“Discussions had started within the Deccan Chargers team that if anyone was going to replace Gilchrist, it can be Rohit. People’s perspective about Rohit started to change from then that he is not only a capable batter but also can be a captain in future,” Ojha added.
Rohit will now take over as India's full-time white-ball captain with the three-match ODI series in South Africa.