'I made Rohit captain because…': Ganguly's prompt action when Kohli stepped down | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'I made Rohit Sharma captain because…': Sourav Ganguly's immediate plan when Virat Kohli stepped down

By, New Delhi
Mar 01, 2024 06:35 AM IST

Rohit Sharma succeeded Virat Kohli as India's captain when Sourav Ganguly was the president of the BCCI.

England's Bazballers found their match in Team India as Rohit Sharma and Co. managed to dim the aura of Ben Stokes' side in the ongoing five-match Test series between the two heavyweights. Confirmed to lead India at the ICC T20 World Cup later this year, veteran Indian opener Rohit guided the hosts to their 17th consecutive Test series win on home soil. Senior batter Rohit succeeded Virat Kohli as India's captain when Sourav Ganguly was the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Former India skipper Virat Kohli was replaced by Rohit Sharma under Sourav Ganguly’s watch(AFP)
Former India skipper Virat Kohli was replaced by Rohit Sharma under Sourav Ganguly’s watch(AFP)

Ganguly had earlier clarified that he didn’t remove Kohli from captaincy. During his stint at the BCCI, Ganguly said that the apex cricket board asked Kohli to reconsider stepping down as T20I captain. In Kohli’s final T20 assignment as captain, India failed to clear the group stage of the T20 World Cup. After Rohit replaced Kohli as India's T20I captain, the Asian giants made it to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2022. A year later, India contested the final of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) against Australia. With Rohit at the helm, hosts India also recorded a perfect ten in the 2023 edition of the ICC World Cup.

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Ganguly's immediate plan when Kohli stepped down

However, Rohit and Co. failed to end India's trophy drought in ICC events. India were outplayed by Australia in the 2023 World Cup final. Talking about Rohit's captaincy amid the five-match series between India and England, former BCCI president Ganguly admitted that he was not surprised by the way the senior batter had been leading the Men In Blue. The former India skipper also claimed that Rohit's Team India was the best side at the ICC World Cup.

'Made Rohit the Indian captain because…'

"Look at the way he captained in the World Cup. Taking India to the final. I think India was the best team in the competition till they lost the final. So he is a good captain, IPL trophies. I am not surprised by the way he led. He became the captain when I was the BCCI president, and I am not surprised by the way he has led the team. I made him the Indian captain because I saw the talent in him, and I am not surprised by what he has done," Ganguly told RevSportz.

What's next for Rohit?

Skipper Rohit slammed a brilliant century (131) for India in the 3rd Test against England at Rajkot. The 36-year-old has amassed 297 runs in the first four games of the England Tests. Under Rohit's leadership, India defeated England in a Test series despite the absence of several seasoned campaigners. Batting icon Kohli missed the entire series for personal reasons. World Cup 2023 hero Mohammed Shami was unavailable for the England series due to an ankle injury. India are also without former vice-captain KL Rahul for the fifth and final Test of the series in Dharamsala.

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