|| India Correspondent ||
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar feels that India’s limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma leading the Test team against Australia in Virat Kohli's absence would be a great chance for him to stake claim for the captaincy in one of the limited-overs formats as well.
Soon after Rohit successfully led Mumbai Indians to its record-fifth title in the IPL, talks have been going on for spilt captaincy. Moreover, Kohli failed to impress once again with his team Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2020.
It is also noteworthy that, Rohit also led India to the Asia Cup title in Kohli's absence. Though Ajinkya Rahane is the vice-captain in the longer format, Shoaib Akhtar thinks Rohit should take over the reign from Kohli after the first Test at the Adelaide Oval.
While speaking to PTI, Akhtar said, "My take on it is pretty simple. From what I know Virat is very keen to take the team forward. It all depends on how fatigued he is feeling. He has been playing non-stop since 2010, has got 70 centuries and a mountain of runs under his belt."
"If he is feeling fatigued, then he should think about giving the leadership role to Rohit in one of the formats (preferably T20s). I could see the boredom on his face during the IPL, may be it was because of the bio-bubble situation, he seemed a bit stressed out. It all depends on how he feels. Rohit has been ready for captaincy for a while," he further added.
However, this will also be Rohit Sharma's first tournament in overseas conditions as an opener where he will face the likes of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Notably, he has done quite well as an opener in his last Test matches.
"Rohit is one of the greatest batsmen India has produced. Now he also understands the real value of his talent. Australia will be his best chance to prove himself as captain. He should grab it with both hands. He has the talent and ability to lead the team. It will be a tough test for India and I would look for these kind of situations as a player. The whole world would be looking at Rohit as captain and batsman. If he does well for himself and the team, then there should be a debate about split captaincy," he concluded.