Shoaib Akhtar has made bold claims about Indian skipper Rohit Sharma stating the batsman has not been enjoying his role at the helm of affairs which has thus affected his individual performances. Akhtar went on to pip Hardik Pandya as Sharma's successor citing his major accomplishment in the IPL.
Rohit Sharma has been the permanent captain of India for less than a year but already recorded some ungodly accomplishments. He has the most consecutive wins as a captain in T20I history with 14, while also having a 19-match winning streak across all formats which places him second on the records list just a game behind the legendary Ricky Ponting. Since taking over from Virat Kohli after the ICC World T20 last year, Rohit has led the team to series wins in the game's shortest format against New Zealand, Sri Lanka, England, and the West Indies before making a strong start to the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Under his leadership, India won an all-important opening game against Pakistan by 5 wickets before crushing Hong Kong by 40-runs to qualify for the Super Four phase. The victory also made him India's second most successful T20I captain of all time with 31 wins in 37 encounters, ahead of Kohli and just 10-wins away from MS Dhoni's tally of 41. However, individually the 35-year-old has been struggling for form, with just one half-century in his last 15 T20I innings, including a dismal return of 77 runs from the last five games. Against Pakistan, he tiptoed his way to an underwhelming 12 before an aggressive start against Hong Kong led to his demise for 21.
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar believes the Mumbaikar does not enjoy his captaincy duties anymore, thus leading to his batting slump.
"I think Rohit Sharma is stuck as a captain. He doesn’t seem to be enjoying it, and he is taking a lot of pressure, so he is out of form," he was quoted saying by Hindustan Times on his YouTube channel.
Rohit had become the prime candidate for India's captaincy following unprecedented success in the Indian Premier League. He has led his franchise Mumbai Indians to a record five titles in the competition alongside a Champions League, including two successive triumphs in 2019 and 2020. However, in the latest edition, they finished bottom of the table while Hardik Pandya led the newly-formed Gujarat Titans to the trophy in their inaugural season.
Pandya went on to lead India in a two-match series in Ireland while Rohit sat out to manage his workload and his cameos so far in the role have convinced Akhtar that he can become the full-time Indian skipper in the future.
Hardik Pandya is a significant factor after he recovered from a back injury. He guided his team [Gujarat Titans] to IPL 2022 trophy as captain, and he is a powerful contender to be captain for T20I,” Akhtar said.