After India ended their flawed T20 World Cup campaign, Sunil Gavaskar has stated that Rohit Sharma is the ideal man to become Virat Kohli’s successor as T20I captain. Gavaskar further added that India should avoid making wholesale changes to the T20I team despite the early exit from the tournament.
Team India ended their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign with a resounding nine-wicket victory against Namibia on Monday in Dubai. India did not have a great start to their campaign at the marquee event as they suffered successive defeats against Pakistan and New Zealand respectively. Despite having the highest NRR in Group 2, and three back-to-back victories in a huge margin at the Super 12 stage, the Virat Kohli-led side were knocked out of the tournament after New Zealand defeated Afghanistan.
India’s last fixture at the Super 12 stage against Namibia, witnessed Virat Kohli’s last match as India’s T20I captain. Ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, citing his workload concerns, Kohli had announced that he would step down as the T20I captain of the national side after the conclusion of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar stated that India’s trusted opener Rohit Sharma is the best man to succeed Virat Kohli as T20I captain. The former Indian cricketer reckoned that Rohit is an ‘obvious choice’ to become India's captain in the shortest format of the game, with his remarkable record as Mumbai Indians skipper in IPL.
"Long term is in case the next World Cup is maybe 2 years away or 3 years away. Next World Cup is just 10-12 months away. You don't have to really look long term now," Gavaskar said to India Today.
"Right now, you have to look for the best man who can take India to an ICC trophy. And that is Rohit Sharma with his record for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, he is an obvious choice. I think he should be given the captaincy and maybe after next year's World Cup in Australia, maybe have a look at another T20 captain. But right, now it's only Rohit Sharma," he added.
Gavaskar opined that India should not make major changes to the T20I squad despite failing to reach the semi-finals at the ICC mega event. He further added that the selection committee should include young players in the T20I team considering the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022.
"I think there has to be some sort of a change but not majorly. You certainly need fresh legs and fresh thinking. That will happen. Right now, I don't think we should be looking at making wholesale changes. Don't take the fact that we didn't do well in the World Cup lightly but too many changes won't help anybody," Gavaskar said.
"India are going to play at least 20 T20Is before the next World Cup. So that's a great opportunity to give some players who you think can be there in Australia.
"Right now, everything that you do as a selection committee must be with a thought to Australia. What kind of pitches you will get in Australia, the size of the boundaries in Australia, all these things must be kept in mind when you pick the team," he added.
India will face New Zealand in a three-match T20I series which is scheduled to begin from November 17 at home.