Off The Field

Clarke suggests Rohit as captain after Kohli’s departure

Written by Vipin Darwade

Amid the business end of IPL 2020, Virat Kohli was granted paternity leave by the BCCI as he is set to return to India after the Test series opener versus Australia, Down Under, later this year. With his wife Anushka Sharma pregnant, the star couple is expecting the birth of their first child by early January 2021.

With Kohli’s early departure from Australia, Team India will have a tough task to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which they had earned for the first time ever on Australian soil in their previous tour in 2018-19. While Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is expected to lead in Kohli’s absence, there has been a difference of opinion with regard to Kohli’s replacement as India captain after the 32-year-old’s departure during the Test series.

In this regard, the former Australia captain Michael Clarke told in the latest episode of India Today Inspiration, “If I was picking the Indian team before they came to Australia and knew that Virat was going to go home after the first Test, I would have picked Rohit Sharma. 100 percent. Because I think he needs to captain India if Virat Kohli is not there,” Michael Clarke said.

The 2015 World Cup-winning captain further opined, “His captaincy and leadership is outstanding. Once again, he showed that during the IPL and another IPL win, he knows how to lead men. I think he should be captain of India in any format if Virat Kohli is not there. That being the case, I would have done everything in powers to get Rohit Sharma fit and have him bat at No. 6. Once Virat goes, he takes over the leadership.”

Meanwhile, Clarke stated on Rahane, “I love Jinx (Rahane) too. He is a great player. His captaincy is pretty good. Tactically, he is a very good captain and it’s going to be good for India. You have got to see it as an opportunity. You have got to try and create history. If India can beat Australia at Australia’s own backyard without Virat Kohli, you can celebrate for a year. That will be an unbelievable win. I think that’s the way Indian players have to look at it. They have to believe they are good enough to take on and beat this Australian team.”

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Vipin Darwade