India’s new T20I captain Rohit Sharma stated that his predecessor Virat Kohli will continue to be “a very important player” in the team.
Kohli has been rested for the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, which commences here on Wednesday.
In a media interaction alongside new head coach Rahul Dravid on Tuesday, Rohit said, “Virat’s role will remain the same. He is an impact player who leaves an impression whenever he plays. He is a very important player from the team’s point of view. When Virat comes back, he will only strengthen our team because of his experience and the kind of batsman he is.”
Rohit stressed on the importance of backing players who go through a lean phase.
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“It is very important to give guys enough assurance so that they can take chances in the middle. If it comes off, it comes off. If it doesn’t, then what happens? This is where we (Dravid and Rohit) will play a huge role to give the individual enough assurance.
“In this format, you need to play fearlessly. In doing so, you may not always be successful. Even if he fails, our set up will instill confidence in him. As long as he is doing his role for the team, we are happy,” Rohit said.
Each player will be assigned clear roles, Rohit stated.
“The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the IPL are the two T20 tournaments that our Indian boys play. A cricketer might play different roles for his franchise and State, but when he comes to the Indian team, we want to assign strict roles that we want him to perform. At the end of the day, what players do here (in the Indian team) matters,” Rohit said.
“The template (that the Indian team will follow) is important, and we have some time to set it right. India has been brilliant in this format; it’s just that we have not won ICC events. Yes, there are some holes to fill — that is the biggest challenge,” he said.
On New Zealand missing the services of regular captain Kane Williamson, Rohit said, “This team is not dependant on one individual. Williamson is a big player, but they have other individuals who can take the game away from the opposition.”