Former India wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel, who represented India in 25 Tests, 35 ODIs and two T20Is between 2002 and 2018, marked out the traits that make Rohit Sharma a successful skipper while also reflecting on Shikhar Dhawan’s leadership style.
Sharma took over as India’s all-format captain from Virat Kohli following the latter’s resignation later this year. Rohit led Mumbai Indians to five Indian Premier League titles to date, the most in the competition’s history, with the first championship dating back to 2013, when he was just 26.
As is the case with most successful captains, Rohit has been patient with players even at times when they fail to deliver the goods, and that has helped youngsters evolve into match-winners.
The quality was pointed out by Parthiv Patel, who was a part of MI’s title-winning teams in 2015 and 2017 under Rohit. The former player pointed out how Avesh Khan was backed in the recent T20I series against the West Indies, despite having returned 1/31 from 2.2 overs and 0/47 from three overs in the second and third T20I, respectively, before bouncing back with a Player of the Match performance of 4-0-17-2 in the fourth.
“I have played under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy at Mumbai Indians and the one thing that stands out is how he backs players who aren’t performing,”said Parthiv on his YouTube channel
“He is vocal about them even in public and in press conferences, as we saw with the case of Avesh Khan. Rohit backed him even after four failures and he delivered with a Man-of-the-Match performance (in the fourth T20I).”
Parthiv also highlighted how Rohit trusts his instincts in crunch situations, while marking out some of his top achievements as India captain.
“Rohit believes in taking instinctive decisions on the ground rather than pre-meditating them. When a crunch situation arises, he takes a call according to the situation and it is one of the main reasons why he has won five IPL trophies with Mumbai Indians.”
Before the T20Is, Shikhar Dhawan led India to a 3-0 win in the ODI series, wherein a host of senior players had been rested. Parthiv spoke on how Dhawan maintains his calm and backs players to play their brand of cricket.
“Shikhar Dhawan has a pretty laid-back style of captaincy where he doesn’t take too much pressure and keeps the team atmosphere light”.
“He does back his players, but most importantly he also gives them space to execute their own plans. This is so important because captaining a team is difficult when the main players are rested. The fringe players need to be given confidence in executing their skills and Dhawan has done that really well.”
Dhawan was initially appointed as the captain for India’s upcoming three-match ODI series in Zimbabwe between August 18 and 22 but was later named KL Rahul’s deputy, who is set to return from an extended break.
India’s next major assignment is the Asia Cup 2022, to be played in the T20 format from August 27 in the UAE. The Men in Blue will face arch-rivals Pakistan in their tournament opener at the Dubai International Stadium on August 28.
India are the most successful team in Asia Cup history, with seven title wins, the most recent of which came in the last edition in 2018 (ODI format) under Rohit when they had beaten Bangladesh in a last-ball thrilling final in Dubai.