Recently, the BCCI announced India's squad for the upcoming series against Australia, and while there were a few debatable decisions, one thing that dominated the news was Rohit Sharma's absence from the list.
Even as the board clarified its stance and said it was because of the batsman's injury, people were just not convinced. Later, he came and led his team Mumbai Indians to its record 5th IPL title.
That didn't just put the BCCI in an embarrassing position but also started a conversation - could Rohit be India's captain? If these instances are anything to go by, definitely.
1. He has prolific captaincy records in the Indian Premier League.
Which is a subtle way of saying that he is miles ahead of his competitors. Under Rohit's leadership, Mumbai Indians have won the IPL title 5 times. That's 2 more than CSK, the second best team, under MS Dhoni.
Gambhir (in Cricinfo) said "If Rohit Sharma doesn't become India's captain for white ball or at least T20 then it's India's loss, not Rohit's".— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) November 11, 2020
And he has done all this without compromising on his numbers as a batsman. He stands 4th on the list of batsmen with the most number of runs in the competition and has 39 half-centuries to his name.
2. He humbly owns up to his mistakes.
In the 2020 IPL final between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals, Rohit Sharma ran for a single but his partner Suryakumar Yadav was reluctant. Hence, confusion happened and one of them had to give up their wicket.
Suryakumar decided that it'll be him, but during the after-match ceremony, a dejected Rohit said that he should have been the one to go.
The kind of form he was in, I should have sacrificed my wicket for Surya.
Mumbai won in the end, though, and the two can put this behind them.
3. He doesn't shy away from making sacrifices for the team.
Rohit's batting records are something he can take a lot of pride in. However, his form has been a bit of concern over the last few years. Back in 2017, many had suggested that his performance as a batsman will enhance if he moves up the order. To which, he had said:
I would love to open but then (you have to think) certain things from the team’s perspective. I mean with me batting at three, four it gives the right balance. If the team requires me to open, I will go and open also.
4. India has performed more than decently under his leadership.
In Virat Kohli's absence, Rohit led India to 2018 Asia Cup victory. He also guided us to a 2-1 series win against Sri Lanka in 2017.
To put things to perspective a little better, India has played 19 T20 games with Rohit as the captain - out of which we have won 15 and lost 4. Not shabby at all.
5. He is always there to help his teammates.
There have been multiple instances of the current juniors in the team, thanking Rohit Sharma for his guidance and undying support. One of them being Mayank Agarwal. Last year, when he failed to perform in the opener against West Indies, it was Rohit who came to help him out.
I hadn't made too many runs in the first Test, and in between games Rohit Sharma could sense I was off a bit. He came forward to offer me some guidance, which I am extremely grateful for. We spoke a lot about how that Test series in West Indies was a different challenge for me.
In the first innings of the next match, Mayank scored a half century.
6. He is empathetic, a quality every leader should have.
During India's series against Bangladesh in 2019, Rohit Sharma arranged passes for the opposition's fan to cheer his team. Rohit went out of his way and met up with Shoaib Ali Bukhari. He asked him about his situation and within a few hours, got his pass ready so that he could support his side.
7. He is not afraid of taking risks.
In his interview on Breakfast with Champions, he revealed that MS Dhoni asked him to open batting during Champions Trophy, 2013. At that time, Rohit did not even know who the opposition was, but he braced himself for the task he was given by the captain.
I did not even know we were playing against South Africa. Later, when I asked Shikhar if he would take the strike. He refused. But then I was like what is the harm anyway. I will be out, that’s it. So, I took the chance...That was one tournament to remember.
The result? His opening partnership with Shikhar Dhawan crossed 100 runs and India won the match by 26. That of course is a testament to Dhoni's decision-making skills, but also goes on to show the courage shown by Rohit.
8. He takes cricket seriously. Himself, not so much.
Rohit is a pretty chilled out guy. That reflects in his uninhibited shots and his conversations. For instance, when he was asked if he'd like to give any batting tips to Pakistan after India defeated the neighbours in World Cup 2019, he gave this hilarious reply.
If I ever become Pakistan’s coach, I will definitely let you know. What can I say right now.