India’s new limited-overs captain, Rohit Sharma, wants to win an ICC title for the cricket-crazy nation, an achievement that eluded his sacked predecessor, Virat Kohli.
During Kohli’s five-year tenure India rose in the ODI, T20I and Test rankings but missed out on securing a single international tournament.
India, who last won a world crown – the Champions Trophy – in 2013, failed to make the semi-finals in this year’s T20 World Cup and got knocked out in the last four of the 2019 50-over showpiece event.
The team also lost the inaugural World Test Championship final to New Zealand in June.
“The last ICC trophy we won was in 2013, since then we haven’t won but I don’t think we did anything wrong after that,” Rohit (34) said in a BCCI video this past Sunday.
“We played as a team, we performed as a team, it’s just that we couldn’t get that extra inch that we look forward to,” he said.
“There are a lot of World Cups coming up. India will definitely be eyeing to do well in all those World Cups.”
Kohli was fired as captain of India’s ODI side last week, a month after he stepped down as the T20I leader following the T20 World Cup.
But the 33-year-old remains Test captain and will lead India in three Tests in South Africa starting on 26 December.
Rohit praised Kohli for his leadership since taking over the limited-overs job from MS Dhoni in 2017.
“He has put the team in a position where there is no looking back. Those five years that he has led the team, he led from the front every time we stepped on to the park.
“There was clear grit, determination to win every game. That was the message to the entire squad and we had a great time playing under him.”
Kohli’s removal copped criticism from pundits and fans, especially after the announcement came in one line at the bottom of a news release about the squad for the South Africa tour, which will also include three ODIs.
But BCCI president Sourav Ganguly defended Kohli’s ouster, saying the management wanted one white-ball leader.
“I personally requested him [Kohli] not to give up the T20I captaincy,” Ganguly told News 18. “Obviously, he felt the workload. Which is fine, he has been a great cricketer, he has been very intense with his cricket. He has captained for a long period of time and these things happen.
“Also, they wanted only one white-ball captain. And that’s why this decision [was made].”
Rohit has led his IPL side the Mumbai Indians to a record five titles and captained India to an Asia Cup triumph in the absence of Kohli.
Rohit said he and new coach Rahul Dravid, who took over from Ravi Shastri last month, aimed to have good communication with the players in the three ODIs in South Africa starting 19 January.
“I have had very little opportunities to lead Team India, but whenever I have gotten an opportunity, I have tried to keep one thing in common, which is clear communication to the players.”
© Agence France-Presse