Indian Captaincy Debate : Big statement by VVS Laxman, ‘Kohli should not be replaced with Rohit as limited overs captain’

There is no need for India to replace Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma as captain of the limited overs teams, former India batsman VVS Laxman said.

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Laxman also said that a batsman of Rohit`s calibre should have been a regular in the Indian Test team, and that his career reminds of his own. “No doubt he is a wonderful captain. Whenever he led in Virat`s absence he has been successful,” said Laxman at virtual launch of `The Hitman: The Rohit Sharma Story`, written by Vijay Lokapally and G. Krishnan.

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“Leading a franchise to five titles is not easy. The way he has built the team (Mumbai Indians) and handles tough situations has been superb. He has all the qualities to be a successful captain for India but you don`t have to necessarily look for a change. Virat has had phenomenal success and is doing a fantastic job. I don`t see any requirement to make a change.”

Laxman said that Rohit has had a “stop-start career” in Test cricket. “His career reminded me of my career, asked to shift in the batting order. Not easy to open against quality fast overs without having opened earlier. He can put pressure on the bowlers once he gets his eye in,” he said. “But he has been bogged by injuries. He is talented enough to succeed as a Test match player. The first time I saw him was in 2005 in the KSCA tournament. He had lot of time against the fast bowlers, but struggling against the spinners.

A year later I saw him so improved and he was clearing the boundary with such ease at No 6, change the momentum of the game. I knew he had the ability to do something special. We struggle to get a double hundred in Test cricket and he has done it three times in One Day cricket.” Former India captain Anil Kumble, who was also part of the book launch, said Rohit would be ready to take over the reins when the time comes. “[He was] extremely confident when we gave him the captaincy offer at Mumbai Indians. It came naturally to him.

He is ready for the challenge. Good we are discussing that we have the option of a second guy. We are lucky we have Rohit who has been successful [in the IPL]. When the time comes and the need I am sure he will be ready,” said Kumble, who has been a part of the Mumbai Indians` coaching staff