Less than 48 hours after joining the India squad in Melbourne, Rohit Sharma was named vice-captain for the remainder of the Australia Tests – while some termed it a well-deserved appointment, others questioned the management’s call.
The 33-year-old batsman, who won his fifth IPL title as Mumbai Indians captain in November, had been racing against time to participate on the Australia tour, hurrying through rehabilitation, and then quarantine, to be fit for at least a part of the series. On December 30, he completed his two-week quarantine to be available for the third Test in Sydney and received a warm welcome from the team that had levelled the series 1-1 with their Melbourne win.
On January 1, BCCI, in a media release, announced that T Natarajan had been included in the Test squad as a replacement for the injured Umesh Yadav, and Shardul Thakur would fill in for the unfit Mohammed Shami. The concluding section mentioned that Rohit had “completed his quarantine and has now joined the Indian cricket team in Melbourne”.
The squad below had the rest of the story: next to Rohit’s name was the title ‘vice-captain’, and BCCI, in its typical way, had made an announcement without explicitly making one.
As expected, there was considerable buzz on social media – one side welcomed the move, supporting the decision to move Rohit up the hierarchy in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli, while the other side questioned the credentials of the batsman, who some feel, is yet to crack the Test code, at least away from home.
What? Does he even Warrant a place in Test match? On what basis? His record on flat Indian pitches? The guy has an average of 28 in SENA countries! This is rubbish! Bombay lobby at its mischief again!!!
— vivek kaul (@kaulvicky) January 1, 2021
So, Rohit Sharma is Test vice-captain?
It hardly matters, but why is he more senior than Ashwin and Pujara in the Test team?
This also means he's almost certainly going to play. I'm quietly hopeful for him. He'll like these conditions.
But again, why make him VC?
— Himanish Ganjoo (@hganjoo153) January 1, 2021
— Chandresh Narayanan (@chand2579) January 1, 2021
— Krishna Shukla (@krshukla852) January 1, 2021
Rohit needs to be in the squad, I get it
Rohit needs to be fit in a winning combination, I get it
Rohit being named vice captain? I can't wrap my mind around that
A year ago Rohit wasn't even a test regular and now this, gives a unstable image of the the team!
— Sahil (@sahil_mehta10) January 1, 2021
A BCCI official said there was never an iota of doubt that Rohit Sharma will be the Vice Captain of Indian Test side once Ajinkya Rahane becomes captain. Cheteshwar Pujara was just a stop gap arrangement till Rohit joined the squad. (To PTI).
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) January 1, 2021
Many felt that the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin, who are more experienced than Rohit in the longer format, deserve to have been next in line for the role.
Pujara or Ashwin not being named vice captain is nothing short of day light robbery.
I don't know what others feel, but I think that things have become more chaotic & nonsensical in BCCI in the last 15 months or so. Good cricketers don't really become good administrators. https://t.co/mtYmwW8XLd
— Gurkirat Singh Gill (@gurkiratsgill) January 1, 2021
Handing the vice captain role to Rohit, who is not even a regular in tests over someone like Ashwin, who is a serial match winner in the format is honestly baffling.
— Sreyas Venkataramanan (@imsreyas_7) January 1, 2021
Rohit Sharma as Vice captain of Indian test team is like Harry Maguire is captain of Manchester United 😷
— . (@sanket7262) January 1, 2021
Others backed the management’s decision to bolster the leadership group in the absence of Virat Kohli, since Rohit, the most successful IPL captain ever, has been the vice-captain of the limited-overs teams.
Rohit Sharma named as Vice-captain of Team India for remaining 2 tests against Australia..
— Vijay Palve (@Vijaypalve2704) January 1, 2021
Rohit Sharma Vice Captain.. should have been captain for last 2 Tests…
— JSK (@imjsk27) January 1, 2021
Maybe they thought they need to have Rohit in the leadership group in the absence of Virat.. considering Rohit is already the vice captain in the LOI's.
It's not as shocking as people are taking it to be. It's nothing out of the blue. Rohit fits well in that position.
— Kanav Bali🏏 (@Concussion_Sub) January 1, 2021
— Abhijith S (@Abhi_mania) January 1, 2021
Rohit will be helping Jinks when for example when Jinks is not on field for whatever reasons for a few overs or helping the bowler when Jinks stands in slips that is it.Rohit is not becoming next test captain..as he has some experience in leadership so chosen ahead of Che and Ash
— Satoru Fujinama (@SatoruFujinama1) January 1, 2021