Rohit Sharma has captained India in six Tests - all on home soil - since taking over from Virat Kohli in 2022.
So far, the team has won on four occasions, and on Monday, after India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, clinching the series 2-1, Rohit said that he’s still learning as a captain.
“I am still learning as a captain in every game that I have captained. I have captained a lot in T20 cricket, more than the other formats, but in Test cricket, I am only six matches old in terms of captaincy. I am still learning and guys around me have played a lot of cricket and they are there to help,” Rohit said.
“Not that I have not played red-ball cricket in India, so I know how it works usually. So I try to think of all those things as a team. Recollect those thoughts and bring them into the game. Whenever I lead the team, I try to keep it very simple. That’s always been my focus to not try and do something absolutely weird. Just keep it simple because it’s a longer version of the game and you need to keep patience…”
Rohit believes that in the longer format, it is important to stay calm on the field.
“Those are the things I always think of when I am captaining the team. Still, like I said, I am learning about my captaincy. I am enjoying it. Enjoying support from every player in the team and the support staff. There have been some challenges as well…”
India came into the Ahmedabad Test after suffering a nine-wicket defeat against Australia in Indore. “I was challenged as a captain as well and when you are playing a series like this, you are bound to make mistakes. I did make some mistakes but that’s how you learn and try and not repeat those mistakes again and again. I am still discovering new things about how I want to take the team forward…”
The India captain was happy to have guided the team to an important title, though a 3-1 would have made him happier.
“The 2-1 result makes me happy. Wanted 3-1 but didn’t happen, but I will take 2-1 as it’s not easy to win against Australia. If you see from Nagpur to Ahmedabad, we have had our share of challenges throughout and we didn’t get any easy victories. Boys are happy. End of the day the result is satisfying,” Rohit said.
“Indore wasn’t good for us, but in the three Tests, we played well for consistent periods of time. On this wicket to get them out for 480 was great effort as the pitch was great for batting for the first two days and we knew on the third and fourth day, Indian track became slow and low but we adapted well and produced results…”
‘I don’t think there was any monkey on Virat’s back’
In the sweltering conditions, Virat Kohli’s gritty 186 - his first Test century in three years and three months - led India’s fightback. The India captain also lauded the effort.
“I don’t think there was any monkey on Virat’s back. When you are around a player like that and see how they go about their business, you don’t feel that kind of thing going in his head. He’s just enjoying his cricket at the moment, which you can see. Obviously, he wants to put up big performances for the team which he has done in the past so many years. He just wants to do that every time he plays for India,” Rohit said.
Soon after Kohli scored a Test century on Sunday, his wife Anushka Sharma put up his video with a caption: “Playing through sickness with this composure. Inspiring me always…”
That put the social media in a frenzy with the fans wondering what happened to Kohli, who batted on for 516 minutes. But Rohit said, “I don’t think he’s sick, he was just coughing a little bit. He’s not that bad health-wise…”
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