He had one of the most difficult jobs in sport, the same way then Manchester United manager David Moyes did in replacing Sir Alex Ferguson, arguably the most successful British manager of all time.
It was a similar job that then Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola was tasked with when he came out of his sabbatical to replace Jupp Heynckes. In cricketing terms, former RCB captain and soon to be ex India T20 captain Virat Kohli faced a similar job when he replaced MS Dhoni as India captain.
CSK skipper Dhoni, over saw a trophy laden era. The Champions trophy, World Cups in 50 overs and 20 overs had also been won in his tenure. Quite the trophy cabinet, for MSD and whoever was going to be the occupant of the India captaincy and succeed Dhoni, had a huge task to rival such success as their predecessor.
Seen as the air to the Tendaulkar throne, with his stats backing it up, India opted for RCB’s Delhi born batsmen Virat Kohli taking the top job. Fiery, passionate and motivaional, Kohli was a polar opposite of his predecessor, but not able to scale the heights of MSD.
A final, in the World T20 and Champions trophy, accompanied by that semi-final defeat by New Zealand, who are somewhat of a bogey team for the men in Blue. The World Test Championship defeat in the summer, which saw The Black Caps become test champions of the new tournament, gives weight to our argument.
The team here at The Sports Buff, since the news emerged that Kohli will be stepping down as T20 captain after the World Cup, want to offer our thoughts on who should replace Viru.
This is one of the most obvious names on the list and would be seen as some what as a safe move. Now, please don’t misinterpret that. To have the option of appointing a four-time IPL winning captain and pass it up? BCCI would be mad!
Sharma did also win the tournament with Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural event as a player, so is a five-time IPL winner. This is noteworthy because in Rohit Sharma, you have a winner, a proven winner.
One, not so much criticism in Kohli’s leadership is that, just maybe he hasn’t had the nous like MSD always seems to and to a point Sharma as well in the big moments of big games. We are a fan of the current India test Captain we also want to add.
He is a very passionate, heart on sleeve cricketer, his India team which has been number one for a sustained period is a reflection of that. India hierarchy, give the reigns to the Mumbai Indians captain Sharma, and you can feel rest assured the T20 captaincy is in safe hands for 2-3 years at least.
T20 is a young mans game, so a new appointment would need to be made again soon as it will soon be time for Rohit to call time on a sparkling career.
A point to consider BCCI?
The choice of KL Rahul, is linked to the appointment of Rohit Sharma. The Sports Buff team thinks Sharma will be favourite for the job, but the BCCI should take a look at KL Rahul in the role.
With his side Punjab Kings, falling short in big matches, at big times, this is a stick that could be used to beat him, but in game we feel we’re on to something. The Punjab captain, we feel is quite an innovative captain.
Eoin Morgan he is not, but the 29-year old should be worth a mention. . KL Rahul age is a factor, which should put him into consideration for the T20 captaincy, unlike Rohit Sharma he we feel still has 5-6 years at top level in International T20 cricket.
For mid term consideration KL Rahul is a good option, a lot of the other players are coming into their 30’s.
The last of our three man short list is Delhi Capital’s captain Rishabh Pant. Pant who is now the first choice wicket-keeper for his country, has seen many challenges at this level. As a batsmen and keeper, Pant is seen as one of the characters of the game.
For a young man at 24, it’s clear to see has a fantastic temperament, we feel (although early doors) it’s showing in his captaincy. A semi-final defeat in his maiden IPL campaign as captain, would have hurt but it’s one where he can gain some priceless experience from.
Although a long shot, we have been slightly critical of the youngsters that are coming through, if the Indian board were to start rebuild, something similar to arch-rivals Pakistan how they have Babar Azam as their captain, then Rishabh Pant should be the player that a new Indian revolution is built around.
We do suggest a wildcard, in the form of Pritvhi Shaw. You will notice that we haven’t written a compelling argument for him, but we feel he should be mentioned in the future if he keeps improving like he is.
The Delhi Capitals opener was Under 19 captain of course, so he has leadership experience.
The 24-year old Pant would be long term thinking, which would be very bold from the Indian cricket board
So that’s our list, do you agree? Let us know in the comments.