India should embrace split captaincy and put Rohit Sharma in charge of their T20 squad, several former cricketers said after the opener led Mumbai Indians to a fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) title on Tuesday.
Virat Kohli leads India across formats, while Sharma usually deputises for him in limited-overs cricket.
Sharma top-scored with a fluent 68 as Mumbai crushed Delhi Capitals in the final to cement their position as the IPL’s most successful team.
Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are yet to win an IPL title in 13 seasons, were eliminated in the playoffs.
“If Rohit Sharma doesn’t become India captain, it’s their loss, not Rohit’s,” former Test opener Gautam Gambhir told the ESPNcricinfo website. “Rohit has won five IPL titles, he is the most successful captain in the history of the tournament.
“It would be a shame if he is not made the white-ball captain after this. Because there’s nothing more Rohit Sharma can do.”
Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles, said Rohit was a significantly better captain than Kohli in these formats.
“Why can’t you have split captaincy? It’s not a bad idea. I’m not suggesting Kohli is a terribly bad captain, but both got the same platform and you can judge who’s better. For me, Rohit Sharma stands out as leader.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan felt delegating T20 captaincy to Rohit would help reduce Kohli’s workload.
“I honestly believe that the Indian team will be better off in Twenty20 cricket being led by Rohit Sharma,” Vaughan told Cricbuzz website, citing split-captaincy examples in England and Australia.
“Virat Kohli is superhuman. Giving away one aspect of his captaincy will free him up to be the 50-overs leader and the Test match leader.”
Former India opener Virender Sehwag also described Sharma as “the best captain in the format” on Twitter.
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