Saba Karim says India needs to groom a captain who plays all three formats.© AFP
Ex-Team India cricketer Saba Karim was quite vocal when he presented his views regarding Team India’s captaincy appointments off late and the reasoning behind them, post Virat Kohli’s exit as leader in all the formats. Talking on the Khelneeti podcast, Karim explained that India “need to groom” a cricketer who “plays all three formats” of the game. “They need to groom someone who plays all three formats. Right now, Rohit is the only option because no one like a KL Rahul or Rishabh Pant has been groomed.”
Saba Karim also pointed out the importance of the year 2023 for Indian cricket and why the team will require to have a settled team and captain keeping in mind the 50-over World Cup and the World Test Championship (WTC) final scheduled for the same year.
“Even if Rohit Sharma is appointed captain in all three formats, it will be a short-term assignment. 2023 is a very important year for Indian cricket. We have the 50-over World Cup and the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) cycle will also end. They need to look at this phase first,” he added.
However, Saba Karim lauded Rohit as a batter after displaying immense application in technique and attitude during the England Test tour in 2021.
“He has earned that respect from his performances. His presence and work ethic is commanding. The England Test series was a challenge for Rohit but he conquered that as well. Keeping all this aside, the biggest challenge for Rohit is whether he is fit,” he said.
“Leaving alone leading, even playing all three formats is a huge task for him. He has been injured multiple times and even now he is returning from rehab. The physio, trainers and everyone involved with his fitness needs to be consulted before making such a big decision. We cannot have a captain who gets injured at the start of a Test series,” he concluded.
Rohit will lead India against West Indies at home in a three-match T20 and a three-game ODI series beginning February 6.
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