'A batter of his quality is always needed' - New ODI skipper Rohit Sharma hails predecessor Virat Kohli

‘A batter of his quality is always needed’ – New ODI skipper Rohit Sharma hails predecessor Virat Kohli

Rohit Sharma replaced Virat Kohli as India’s ODI captain.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named Rohit Sharma as India’s new ODI captain on Wednesday (December 8). The veteran opener takes over the reins from Virat Kohli, who has enjoyed a phenomenal run as India’s skipper in the 50-over format. Reports of Rohit displacing Kohli were doing rounds since a while and BCCI confirmed the developments while naming India’s Test squad for the upcoming South Africa tour.

Notably, Kohli had stepped down as India’s T20I skipper following the conclusion of the T20 World Cup last month. While Rohit subsequently took over the leadership role in the shortest international format, he will now India in all white-ball games. The dashing opener would indeed be raring to live up to the expectations. However, he reckons Kohli will be crucial figure in the ODI and T20I set-up.

Virat Kohli presence is very important to the team: Rohit Sharma

The veteran opener applauded Kohli’s contribution to Indian cricket, stating that a batter of his quality is very important to the team. “A batter of his (Kohli’s) quality is always needed in the squad. To have an average of 50 plus in the T20 format, it is crazy and unreal. Obviously, with the experience… he has batted and bailed India out so many times from difficult situations,” Rohit asserted on the show ‘Backstage with Boria.’

“The quality and his kind of batsmanship is required. Plus, he is still a leader of the team. All those things put together, you don’t want to miss out. You don’t want to ignore that kind of stuff. His presence is very important to the team,” the 34-year-old added.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that BCCI selectors took the final call on naming Rohit as the ODI captain. Kohli had stated that he would continue to lead the team in Test and ODIs. However, the selectors found it best to give the charge to the dashing opener.

“The BCCI wanted absolute clarity between red-ball and white-ball cricket. The BCCI wanted a complete (leadership) separation between the longest format and shorter formats to avoid any confusion. In the end, it was left to the selectors to take a call. They decided to appoint Rohit as new ODI captain,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.