Following Mumbai Indians record-extending fifth IPL title victory, their skipper Rohit Sharma came in for some vibrant praise from former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir. Sharma scored a match-winning 68 as Mumbai Indians defeated Delhi Capitals by 5 wickets in the IPL 2020 final.
Rohit Sharma, already IPL’s most successful captain, has now led Mumbai Indians to an astonishing fifth crown. MS Dhoni is second on the list with three titles followed by Gambhir himself, who had led KKR to two title victories.
While Rohit is Mumbai’s unanimous leader, when it comes to the national side, Virat Kohli is the skipper in all three squads. Gambhir, however, called for Rohit Sharma to be made the Indian captain in at least the white ball format. Speaking after Mumbai's second consecutive title victory, Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo:
"If Rohit Sharma doesn't become India's captain, it's their loss, not Rohit's," Gambhir said. "Yes, a captain is only as good as his team and I completely agree with that, but what are the parameters to judge a captain on who is good and who isn't? The parameters and benchmark should be the same. Rohit has led his team to five IPL titles."
Virat Kohli is yet to won a major title as India’s skipper (in limited overs) – having repeatedly fallen short in the ODI and T20I World Cup as well as in the Champions Trophy. Gambhir, highlighted Rohit’s fantastic record as Mumbai Indians skipper.
"We keep saying MS Dhoni is India's most successful captain. Why? Because he has won two World Cups and three IPLs," Gambhir said. "Rohit has won five IPL titles, he is the most successful captain in the history of the tournament. Going forward, it'll be a shame if he doesn't get India's white-ball or just T20 captaincy. Because he can't do much more than this. He can only help the team he captains to victories. So if he doesn't become India's regular white-ball captain, it will be their loss."
The former Indian opener, Gambhir, also gave his vote to split-captaincy – a new phenomenon in modern cricket where different captains lead the side in different formats. The former southpaw was of the opinion that while Kohli can be retained as the limited overs skipper, Rohit should definitely be made the white-ball skipper.
"They can also consider split-captaincy," he said. "No one is poor. Rohit has shown in white-ball cricket how big the difference is between his and Virat's captaincy. One player had led his team to five titles, the other hasn't won yet. I'm not saying this because Kohli is a poor captain. But he has received the same platform that Rohit has, so you have to judge both of them on the same parameters. Both have been captains in the IPL for the same length of time. I feel Rohit stands out as a leader."
The split-captaincy module is successfully practised these days with the World Cup winning England team being the perfect example of it. Joe Root leads the England Test team while Eoin Morgan is the limited overs skipper for them.