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Rohit Sharma not the ’60 overs of hell’ kind of captain like Virat Kohli: Nasser Hussain busts ‘laidback’ myth

Nasser Hussain dissected the captaincy styles of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli after the England Test series.

Leaving England to grapple with fresh doubts over their Bazball approach, Rohit Sharma’s Team India crushed Ben Stokes and Co. to enhance their invincibility at home. Silencing his critics again in the final encounter of the five-match series, skipper Rohit smashed a scintillating century to deflate England in the dead rubber at Dharamsala. Dubbed as ‘past his prime’ by Geoffrey Boycott after India lost the series opener, Rohit served a timely reminder of his batting class by notching up two centuries against England.

Hussain explained how skipper Rohit is different from his predecessor – Kohli(Getty Images-PTI)

Reflecting on India’s performance, Rohit admitted that the England series made him a better captain. Speaking to reporters at the press conference, the India skipper said that he learned a lot about utilising the players. Rohit replaced Virat Kohli as India’s Test captain back in 2022.

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In conversation with Michael Atherton, former England captain Nasser Hussain recently recalled Rohit’s takeaways from the five-match series, which India won 4-1.

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‘People confuse Rohit as a laidback cricketer’

“I think sometimes people confuse Rohit as a laidback cricketer who just lets the game drift. There is a lot of skill, thought, and brilliance about his batting. And I thought he had an excellent series as captain. He himself said in the press conference that he has had to learn and adapt his own style of captaincy at times. Earlier on in the series, he didn’t bowl (Ravi) Ashwin with the new ball. And (Ben) Duckett, sitting there and waiting with his nemesis Ashwin, would get to 60s-70s before Ashwin comes on. But Rohit learnt from something he wasn’t getting right. In cricket, there is a grey area in there, and you do not get things right, sometimes,” Hussain said on Sky Sports.

Former England skipper Hussain also explained how skipper Rohit is different from his predecessor – Kohli. India missed the services of Kohli in the entire five-match series as the former skipper was unavailable for selection due to personal reasons. Since taking over Kohli’s captaincy reigns in Tests, Rohit has remained unbeaten as leader of the Asian giants in five series. However, Rohit’s India lost the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final to Australia.

Rohit not the ’60 overs of hell’ kind of captain like Kohli

“When you got Bumrah and Siraj, with the new ball burst. The use of Ashwin later in the second innings with the new ball, has been pivotal. So don’t confuse (Rohit with Virat’s captaincy) because he has come off the back of Virat Kohli. In your face, aggressive captain. In the huddle at Lord’s, saying let’s unleash hell on the England batting lineup. Rohit is not quite the same sort of person. He has that fire burning within. And also Rahul as well, we know Rahul Dravid, losing that game in Hyderabad, would have hurt Rahul Dravid. Because they were ahead in that game. And one thing Dravid isn’t is, ruthless, and he would have wanted them to be more ruthless. I think we saw signs of that as the series progressed,” Hussain added.

What’s next for Rohit?

Rohit joined Sunil Gavaskar on the elite list of openers with the most Test tons (4) against England. Rohit has 43 centuries as an opener for India in international cricket. He is also only behind David Warner and Sachin Tendulkar. The 36-year-old smashed 103 off 162 balls in the fifth and final Test of the England series. Indian skipper Rohit amassed 400 runs in nine innings against England. The senior opener will lead India in its next Test assignment against Bangladesh.


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