'Why is a weaker player leading India?' - Former India Player goes on rant comparing Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli's position as Test captain
The Indian cricket landscape is buzzing with a controversial topic, sparked by former India batter Subramaniam Badrinath's remarks about the Test cricket team's captaincy. Badrinath has openly challenged the current leadership structure, advocating for a change at the helm in favour of Virat Kohli over Rohit Sharma. This statement comes in the wake of India's recent loss to South Africa in the Boxing Day Test at Centurion.
India's recent performance in the Boxing Day Test against South Africa, which ended in an innings and 32-run defeat, has become a critical reference point in this debate. India's batting lineup crumbled, registering totals of 245 and 131 across two innings. In stark contrast to each other, Kohli scored 38 and 76, whereas Rohit managed only 5 and 0.
In a candid analysis on his YouTube channel, Badrinath questioned Rohit's capability as a Test captain, using Kohli's impressive track record to underscore his point.
"Kohli has a great record as a Test leader. He has scored more than 5000 runs with an average of 52 as a captain. He has 40 wins and 17 losses in 68 tests. He led us to a tremendous victory in the Australia series. He has the most wins as Test captain after Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh,” said Badrinath.
He further advocated for Kohli's return as captain, questioning, "Why is he (Virat) not the captain of the Test team? I want to raise this valid question. He is a better test batter. There is no comparison between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. He is a big player in terms of Test cricket. He has scored runs everywhere. Why is he not leading and a weaker player?”
Despite Rohit's commendable record in Test cricket, including 3,682 runs in 53 Tests at an average of 45.45, his performance in overseas conditions, particularly in South Africa, has been underwhelming. He averages only 12.80 from five Tests there.
Badrinath voiced his concerns, saying, "Rohit Sharma has not proven himself as an opener outside India. Why is he there?"
Kohli's tenure as captain is adorned with achievements, including 40 wins in 68 Tests, a win percentage of 58.82, and a landmark series win in Australia in 2019-20. His personal contribution with the bat is also significant, amassing 5864 runs at an average of 54.80.
This debate transcends mere statistics, touching upon the nuances of leadership styles and their effectiveness, especially in challenging overseas conditions. Kohli's aggressive approach and proven overseas record present a strong case for his leadership, while Rohit's calm and strategic style has also been effective.
The Indian cricket establishment, particularly the selectors and the BCCI, now face a pivotal decision. Should they continue with Rohit Sharma, whose leadership has shown promise, or turn back to Virat Kohli, whose assertive captaincy and success in foreign conditions are well-documented? This decision will significantly influence India's trajectory in Test cricket, especially in overseas tours.