My philosophy of captaining will remain the same: Rohit Sharma on Test captaincy
Mohali : Amidst the hype around Virat Kohli’s 100th Test appearance, the fact that the first Test against Sri Lanka will be the beginning of Rohit Sharma’s innings as the full-time skipper in the longest format of the game has been pushed to the background.After becoming a proven leader in white-ball matches for India with series wins over New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka, Sharma’s latest challenge is now to replicate the success in Test cricket.With the change in formats and jersey colour, Sharma maintains that his approach as a captain won’t change. “It’s a completely different ball-game, limited-overs and Test cricket. My philosophy of captaining will remain the same, I won’t go away from that. That is staying in present, understanding the situation the team is in and what is the right call to make at that particular time.””I will be thinking about all those things. It’s five-day cricket, so things will change every day. You have to do a lot of analysing about how the first day went, what you need to do on day two, day three, and thereon,” said the 34-year-old in the pre-match virtual press conference.
Throwing further light on his captaincy philosophy, Sharma remarked, “A lot of things depend on how we react to a particular situation and then whatever strategies are needed, we will create that. It’s been my philosophy, not to think too far ahead; it’s important to stay and think one thing at a time and not go too far ahead. There’s no comparison between Test and limited-overs cricket.”As of now, Sharma is eager to step on the field as India’s 35th Test captain. “It will be a challenge, first time I am leading in red-ball cricket for India. I have captained a few games in Ranji Trophy. But a whole lot of challenge when you are captaining the Test team. So, it’s going to be a different challenge. But it’s something I am really looking forward to. It’s going to be really exciting and can’t wait.”In the current World Test Championship standings, India are at fifth place with 49.07 percentage points. After the series against Sri Lanka, India have a Test against England at Edgbaston followed by two matches against Bangladesh later in the year. While wanting to continue his winning streak, Sharma also hailed his predecessor, Virat Kohli’s seven-year captaincy stint during which India became a force to reckon with in overseas conditions.
“I am looking forward to just winning games as much as possible and doing the right things with the right players in the squad. That is the whole point. As a Test team, at the moment, we stand in a very good position. If you look at the last five years of our Test cricket, the whole credit goes to Virat himself to get us going in this particular format.””What he has done with the Test team over the years was brilliant to see. For me, honestly, I have to just take it forward from where he left. The team stands in a very good position. Of course, we are midway in the World Test Championship table. Honestly, I don’t see we have done anything wrong in the last two three years in Test cricket.”For now, Sharma is firmly concentrated on his job of making the team improve and walk on the right path in Test cricket. “We want to improve every game we play as a team. That is going to be the benchmark we are going to set for ourselves moving forward. We are looking forward to correcting our mistakes made in the past, no team is perfect and you always try to improve in every game. That will be the whole sole purpose of moving forward in the right direction.”