If there is one player who has mastered the art of leading in T20 cricket, it is Rohit Sharma. Hitman recently guided India to 2-1 T20I series win over Bangladesh despite the squad missing big names such as Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah & Hardik Pandya. But for Rohit, it’s not about who’s missing but who is available to do the job for him and the team.
Rohit has won all but one T20I series he has led India in. Besides, he is the most successful skipper in IPL with four titles.
So, what makes Rohit such a great leader in T20 cricket? Cricwizz decodes the art of Rohit Sharma’s captaincy in T20 cricket.
Rohit Sharma makes the best use of resources
Whenever Rohit has led India in T20Is, it has been because regular captain Virat Kohli has been rested or given a break. And Rohit has never lamented the absence of a match-winner in Kohli in the squad. Besides, he is always given a second-string squad while other regulars recover from niggles and India create a reserve bench.
Rohit believes in making the best use of resources and motivating them to deliver nothing but the best. He backs his players to deliver the goods even if they are struggling. When a captain puts so much faith, the player in question has no choice but to deliver for his leader, and eventually, the team wins.
Rohit backs youngsters
In the T20I series win over Bangladesh, India lacked 3 to 5 regulars, but Rohit backed the newcomers such as Shivam Dube, Khaleel Ahmed, Washington Sundar to play above their potential for the greater cause of the team.
And they delivered in style, especially Dube whose three wickets in the third T20I helped India come from behind to win the decider.
He also backed Khaleel after the left-arm pacer was taken to cleaners in the first two T20Is before coming good in the third match.
In IPL, his continuous backing of inconsistent Kieron Pollard & the Pandya brothers has delivered the results every time.
Under his captaincy, some youngsters such as Jasprit Bumrah and Mayank Markande have come into prominence with their IPL performances, with Bumrah going on to become the world’s best bowler across all formats.
Last IPL season, Rohit backed Rahul Chahar who turned up a match-winning performance in the final.
Lucky maybe, but fearless yes
In the 2019 IPL final, Rohit took a brave decision to bat first to put pressure on the opposition while defending. Although chasing is a norm in T20 cricket, Rohit backed his plan to defend as he believed it will be tough to chase in a final.
He also believed in his team who can deliver the goods in the second innings despite the dew factor can alter the game considerably. But Rohit has always stuck to his gun.
And Rohit came out triumph with Mumbai beating Chennai by a run in the 2019 IPL final to win his fourth title.
He has taken a lot of such instinctive decisions that have paid off for his team. And his fearless approach has been the highlight of his captaincy.
Cool and calm
Rohit takes a lot of inspiration from MS Dhoni’s captaincy. He has managed to remain calm in tense situations and that has rubbed off on his teammates who never panicked in tricky situations. Pulling off two IPL final wins by just a run speaks volume of Rohit’s strong leadership qualities.
In both the finals, Mumbai looked to have lost the grip on the match, but Rohit-led MI kept their sanity to pull off miracles not once but twice. And it’s Rohit’s attitude that has delivered four titles for Mumbai Indians and it’s also seen whenever Rohit leads India in limited-overs cricket.
Strong leadership qualities
You’ll never see Rohit rebuking a player in public even when they drop sitters in crucial phases of a game. In the IPL 2019 final, two easy catches were dropped in the death overs, but Rohit maintained his sanity and restrained himself from losing his cool. In the end, his team eked out a one-run win.
Instead, he praises his players in public, and reprimands them in private. He also holds motivational talks when things are not going the team’s way.
In the third T20I against Bangladesh, Rohit told Dube, who went for plenty in first two overs, to remember which jersey he is playing for. It spurred Dube to make a big comeback, taking three wickets in his last two overs for just 7 runs to change the course of the game.
Rohit’s leadership qualities can be a case study in management books.
Rohit leads from the front
Rohit is a respected skipper as he leads from the front when the team needs him the most. Under his captaincy, Rohit has scored a few match-winning knocks in the games when the series were in balance. He has already struck two tons as a skipper in T20Is.
In the second T2oI against Bangladesh at Rajkot, Rohit took it upon himself to guide the team through and level the series.
He has rarely let his team down when his bat needed to do the talking. And whenever the chips were down, Rohit has only come up with big scores to bail the team out.
And a captain who leads from the front can demand his teammates to up their game for the team. And he has been successful in doing that.