Rohit Sharma's record as stand-in captain has been quite impressive and he made it clear on Saturday that whenever the opportunity comes along, he would be "ready" for full-time captaincy.
Under Rohit Sharma, India have won two close multi-nation tournaments- the T20 tri-nation in Sri Lanka and now the Asia Cup 50-over tournament. A three-time IPL winning captain of Mumbai Indians, Rohit was asked if he is ready for a long-term leadership role in the future.
"Definitely. We have just won so I will surely be ready (for captaincy). Whenever the opportunity comes, I will be ready," a smiling Rohit told reporters after India' Asia Cup triumph.
There are challenges that a stand-in captain faces, Rohit admitted, adding that the main objective is to allow players to play freely without thinking about their places in the team. "It's a challenge for any team when a few of your senior players are rested. Obviously, they will make a comeback and a few of the guys have to miss out. Every team is doing that which is something the guys understand,"
"It's up to them whenever they get an opportunity to make it big and make it count but for us- myself as a captain and our coach, we have to make sure that they have the liberty to go out and play their game without feeling any pressure," said Rohit.
"I understand the dynamics of this team, how we play our cricket and how we want to go forward as a team. I think in this tournament we have ticked all the boxes,"
Rohit made it clear that his philosophy of leadership is to help players shed insecurities while playing for the country. He, in fact, even assured the likes of Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik that they will be playing all games.
"When we came here, I wanted to give them the assurance that they will be playing all games. That's how you make players. If you know after two games you are going to get dropped, it's not easy for any player,"
"I wanted to give everybody a fair run and play more games. That's how you understand a player's capabilities. One odd game, you can't judge a player," said Rohit.
Rohit was more than happy with the fact that his young team had achieved so much.
"It was a very young team that we brought here. Not many boys had the experience of playing in these conditions. It was hot. It wasn't easy for the boys to adapt because they had come from England. It was very important to get used to the conditions,"
"However I think that our preparation for this tournament was overall good. Seven-eight guys came here early while the other boys from England landed here a day before the tournament," said the skipper.
Fitness was indeed an issue in gruelling conditions, admitted Rohit.
"The message was to focus on the fitness because we hadn't played in conditions like this before. I think this was a big challenge for us. The conditions here were quite slow and there was assistance for the slow bowlers."
The skipper also praised his spinners for their consistent show.
"Our spinners' performance in the last six-eight months have been consistent. It's been a positive sign."