new Delhi: Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has given a big statement about Rohit Sharma. He believes that when Rohit Sharma leads the Indian Test team in the absence of Virat Kohli in Australia, in this much awaited series, he will have the ‘best chance’ to strengthen his claim of captaincy in a limited-overs format. .
After Mumbai Indians (MI) won their fifth consecutive Indian Premier League title led by Rohit Sharma, the demand for appointing a different captain in a different format in the Indian team has started intensifying. In the absence of Kohli, India also won the Asia Cup title under Rohit’s leadership.
Ajinkya Rahane has been named the vice-captain of the Test team but Akhtar feels that Rohit will be given the responsibility of captaincy after the first Test at Adelaide Oval. Indian captain Kohli will return home after the first Test for the birth of his first child.
Asked about the captaincy of the Indian Test team in the absence of Kohli (Virat Kohli), Akhtar said, ‘My stand on this is very clear. As much as I know, Virat is desperate to take the team forward. It depends on how tired he is feeling. He has been playing continuously since 2010, he has scored 70 centuries and many more.
He said, “If he is feeling tired, then he should consider giving Rohit the leadership role in a format (preferably in T20)”.
Akhtar (Shoaib Akhtar) said, ‘I could see his face revoked in the IPL, it was probably due to living in a biologically safe environment, he seemed a bit tense. It all depends on how he is feeling. Rohit has been ready for captaincy for some time.
This series will be Rohit’s first series as an opener in foreign conditions and he will have a tough challenge facing the fast bowlers like Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
He said, ‘Rohit is one of the greatest batsmen of India. Now he understands the true value of his talent.
Akhtar (Shoaib Akhtar) said, ‘He will have the best chance to prove himself as a captain in Australia. He will try to take advantage of this opportunity with both hands. He has the talent and ability to lead the team. It will be a difficult challenge for India ‘.
India won the series for the first time in Australia two years ago, but in the absence of Kohli (Virat Kohli), this time India’s path will be more difficult, while the return of David Warner and Steve Smith will strengthen Australia’s team.
Akhtar said, ‘From my point of view India has the ability to win again but if the middle order does not perform then I think they will be seen battling. People will watch this series with great interest, including me.
He said, ‘Day-night test will be his biggest challenge. If India plays well in these conditions then anything can happen. India is good in all departments with better bowling and Lokesh Rahul will replace Kohli in the last three Tests’.
Akhtar said, ‘It will take two to three innings to achieve the rhythm in foreign conditions. You cannot drive on a bouncing ball and have to play shots close to the body.
Akhtar, who played 46 Tests and 163 ODIs for Pakistan, said, “It will be exciting to see what the pitches will be like.” It is certain that Australia will hit India hard and it will not be easy to drive the ball.