‘It was on the cards’ – Salman Butt ‘not surprised’ by India’s move to transfer ODI captaincy to Rohit Sharma
Butt, however, reckoned that the move will lessen the burden from Kohli's shoulder and give him more freedom as a batter.
Updated - Dec 9, 2021 4:58 pm
Former Pakistan opener Salman Butt is not surprised by India’s decision to name Rohit Sharma as the ODI skipper in place of Virat Kohli. Notably, the senior men’s selection committee announced the decision on December 8 while naming an 18-member squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa.
The move came as a surprise for many given Kohli had expressed his willingness to continue leading the ODI and Test team while announcing his decision to step down as the T20I skipper in a bid to manage his workload. However, as it stands, he will continue to lead only in the longest format.
Butt, however, reckoned that the call makes complete sense as it would not only lessen the burden from Kohli’s shoulders but will also allow him to have more freedom and liberty as a batter, as he has not been able to perform par to his standards in the last couple of years.
Kohli’s performance will get better now, he was extremely overloaded: Salman Butt
“This doesn’t come as a surprise to me. It was on the cards. It doesn’t make sense anyway if he’s only the T20I captain. It makes sense to segregate between white between a red ball and white ball to reduce the pressure on a certain player. India doesn’t play a lot T20Is; they mainly play ODIs and Tests. In order to reduce workload (off Kohli), the entire white-ball captaincy had to go one way,” explained Butt while speaking in a video on his YouTube channel.
“As I said, there is no element of surprise here. It’s a good thing because you will see Virat Kohli’s performance getting better because he was extremely overloaded. And as it is, the volume of cricket that India plays is very high. The pressure is even higher when all eyes are on him and people only talk about him not scoring runs. For people, him scoring 50s did not amount to anything. I reckon this was a perfect exchange with Rohit Sharma.”
Rohit recently led India to a 3-0 victory against New Zealand in the home T20I series in his first assignment as the team’s full-time captain after Kohli stepped down post the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021. India are in line to face South Africa next for three Tests and as many ODIs, with the series starting on December 26 with the first Test.