IND V ENG 2021: “Can anyone perform with Virat Kohli’s consistency across formats?”

Former India selector Sarandeep Singh feels the debate over split captaincy in Indian cricket is needless, as Virat Kohli has been doing a good job as captain and batsman in all formats for a few years now.

Virat Kohli’s leadership has come under the scanner in recent times. While some experts want Ajinkya Rahane as Test skipper, few others have been calling for Rohit Sharma to take over from the current captain in the limited-overs formats.

In a discussion with Sportskeeda’s Indranil Basu in an SK Live session on Facebook, the former India spinner didn’t find any logic in the split captaincy debate. He opined:

“Virat Kohli is the captain. He has been leading for 4-5 years. He has been handling the team well. If Virat’s captaincy starts affecting his batting, then we can think of someone.

“But the question that arises is, can anyone perform with the same level of consistency that Virat has done in all three formats? Virat Kohli is the leader. He has made this team. Yes, there have been ups and down…”

Praising Ajinkya Rahane for leading the team to a famous win in Australia, the 41-year-old reiterated that it wasn’t reason enough to replace Virat Kohli as captain. Singh added:

“Definitely, Ajinkya Rahane, the way he handled the team (in Australia) was impressive. He is a very smart and thinking cricketer. But he was very well backed up by the rest of the teammates as well.

“Some big names had predicted a 0-4 loss for India in Australia. The Indian team though showed they can win even without Virat. However, I don’t see that as a reason to go for split captaincy.”

Virat Kohli one of the best captains in the T20 format: Sarandeep Singh

One criticism often made of Virat Kohli is that he hasn’t been able to deliver an IPL title for Royal Challengers Bangalore, unlike his limited-overs deputy Rohit Sharma, who has led Mumbai Indians to a record five titles. However, Singh backed Virat Kohli to remain the white-ball captain, pointing out Rohit’s recent injury woes. According to the former India off-spinner:

“Rohit is a wonderful batsman. As a captain, he has led Mumbai Indians to multiple titles in the IPL. But he has got injured a lot recently. He missed the New Zealand Tests and the ODIs and T20Is in Australia. So one has to see who can replace Virat as leader in all three formats. As of now, Virat seems the right choice and he is doing fine.”

Singh also felt that comparing Virat Kohli’s international and IPL record as a leader is unfair.

“IPL results of a team depend on the kind of players the management picks and how they perform. When it comes to the Indian team, Virat is one of the best captains. He is the only captain who has won T20Is all over the world , be it Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, everywhere.

“Just because he is not winning the IPL, his captaincy cannot be questioned. Definitely, Virat will be keen to win the IPL. But, as of now, there is no better alternative to him as India captain across formats,” he signed off.

Virat Kohli will be leading the Indian team in the upcoming T20Is against England and will also captain RCB in the IPL later in the year.

Published 20 Feb 2021, 23:44 IST

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