Former India captain Sourav Ganguly dropped a bombshell on Friday, revealing that Rohit Sharma wasn’t too keen on taking over as the leader following Virat Kohli’s resignation in the 2021-22 season.
Kohli’s stellar run as India captain across formats, which began halfway into the 2014-15 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, came to an end in dramatic fashion around the 2021 T20 World Cup as well as the subsequent tour of South Africa, when Ganguly was the president of the BCCI.
In a chat with Kolkata TV, Ganguly revealed serving an ultimatum to Rohit to accept the responsibility of leadership directly, failing which his name would be announced in any case.
“Rohit Sharma wasn’t keen on captaincy. It had gone to a stage where ‘aapko ha bolna hai nahi toh main kar dunga’ (I will announce your name even if you don’t accept the offer). It had gone to that stage. Because he is an outstanding captain. After Virat Kohli left, he was the best man to lead India,” Ganguly revealed.
Ganguly, however, wasn’t entirely sure himself as to why Rohit was hesitant in accepting the role.
“Don’t know exactly. A lot of cricket. Men’s cricket, T20 cricket, lot of Cricket lot of pressure. IPL captaincy so he had a lot on his plate but nothing can be better than India captain. I am happy that he has taken it. And he is doing well,” Ganguly added.
Kohli had already announced his intention to resign as T20I captain before the World Cup in the UAE, in which the Men in Blue failed to advance beyond the Super 12s. He would then abruptly resign from Test leadership after the team’s 1-2 Test series defeat in South Africa despite winning the first Test in Centurion.
The BCCI, meanwhile, had unceremoniously dumped him as ODI captain while announcing their squads for the South Africa tour.
Rohit, who had led India on an intermittent basis including in the 2018 Asia Cup, lead India for the first time in a full-time capacity in the three-T20I series against New Zealand at home right after the T20 World Cup. He would then lead India in whites for the first time in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka in February.
Rohit, who has led Mumbai Indians to five Indian Premier League and one Champions League T20 titles to make them the joint-most successful team alongside Chennai Super Kings, would lead India to the semi-finals of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.
The ‘Hitman’ is currently leading the Indian team in the ICC World Cup on home soil, where the Men in Blue have been by far the most dominant side with eight comfortable wins in as many outings.