With Virat Kohli stepping down as India’s T20 captain and Rohit Sharma taking over the reins for the upcoming three-match series against New Zealand, former India opener Virender Sehwag feels the 33-year-old batter should take up a role similar to the one Sachin Tendulkar had donned in the team. Sehwag explained how the legendary batsman, who played under different captains — Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni — shared his thoughts with the skipper as a senior member of the Indian team.
Sehwag feels that Kohli should take up a similar role going forward. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that Rohit will lead the team against New Zealand while Kohli has been rested for the series. Also, KL Rahul has been named the vice-captain for the three-match series.
“Throughout his long and illustrious career, (Sachin) Tendulkar played under so many captains. Every time a new captain came in, he shared his thoughts with him, and then it was up to the skipper to implement it. Similarly, Kohli said something great when he said that he and Rohit are the leaders and as long as they are around the Indian team setup, they will support the youngsters and captain,” Sehwag said during a discussion on Cricbuzz.
Sehwag also pointed out the importance of grooming a youngster as vice-captain, so that the transformation from deputy to captain becomes a bit easier.
Back in 2007, when MS Dhoni was made captain of the team and Sehwag was his deputy, the latter revealed how he urged the team management to select someone else for the vice-captain role, but his request wasn’t taken seriously.
“When Dhoni was named captain of the team and I was made the vice-captain, I had told the management and board that irrespective of me being the vice-captain, I would perform my responsibilities so it is better that you groom someone younger, so when Dhoni leaves, he can lead the team, not me.
“However, my advice wasn’t taken seriously but now with Kohli giving such statements, it is a good sign for Indian cricket,” he added.