Rohit Sharma is on his first Test captaincy against Sri Lanka in the first of the two-match match series in Mohali. Gautam Gambhir believes that Rohit will not face any major challenges in his new role because Virat Kohli has developed a potent bowling attack under his tenure in Test cricket.
Team India made a return to Test cricket on Friday, March 4, when they went up against Sri Lanka in the first of the two-match series at IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. The match remains significant for a couple of reasons for India. Firstly, it is Virat Kohli's 100th Test appearance, as he becomes the twelfth Indian to reach the landmark. Besides, it is also the beginning of Rohit Sharma's tenure as India's full-time captain in red-ball cricket.
Rohit made an impressive start as India’s full-time captain in the limited-overs cricket, with the team registering clean-sweep series triumphs against New Zealand (T20Is), West Indies (ODIs and T20Is), and then, Sri Lanka (T20Is).
In the pre-match show on Star Sports ahead of the Test series opener against Sri Lanka, former India opener Gautam Gambhir believes that it won't be a “big challenge” for Rohit Sharma as Indian captain for the first time in Test cricket. Gambhir cited India’s seasoned campaigners’ presence in the squad to support his verdict, especially the bowling unit, which has become lethal under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.
“When you have Ashwin, Jadeja, Shami, Bumrah, then it doesn't get (difficult). Bowlers win you matches, batters only set the match up. Virat Kohli has developed India's bowling strength, so I don't think it should be difficult for Rohit Sharma in red-ball cricket.
“... it won't be a big challenge for Rohit Sharma in red-ball cricket. If you talk about Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, you have experienced players like Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer who can replace them. Iyer had made a bright start to Test cricket,” Gambhir opined in the pre-match show on Star Sports.
Further, Gambhir added that it is easier to lead India at home than overseas, reasoning, “In India, it's comparatively easier. You win the toss and bat. Overseas, it gets difficult because the condition is challenging. Here, you know you can set the game if you bat first.”
In the first Test against Sri Lanka, India had won the toss and opted to bat in the first Test against Sri Lanka. They reached 124/2 in 30 overs after coming from lunch break, with Kohli batting on 19, alongside Hanuma Vihari on 40.