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‘Put one tiger in front of 100 lambs or put a lamb in front of 100 tigers…’: Navjot Sidhu on Rohit Sharma’s captaincy

Navjot Singh Sidhu had an interesting way of describing the captaincy credentials ahead of IPL 2024.

Former India opener Navjot Singh Sindhu said Rohit Sharma is like that tiger who can turn the entire team with his captaincy. There has been a lot of talk about Rohit’s leadership ever since he was replaced as the Mumbai Indians captain by Hardik Pandya. Rohit, after all, is the joint-most successful IPL captain along with MS Dhoni with five IPL titles to his name. MI’s surprising decision ahead of IPL 2024, however, didn’t affect Rohit’s performance as the Indian captain.

Mumbai Indians batter Rohit Sharma celebrates with a teammate(PTI)

Rohit led a young Indian side with five debutants across the series to a 4-1 win against England. He scored two centuries in the five-match Test series but what stood out was the way he led an inexperienced side minus the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami to win four matches on the bounce after losing the series-opening Test.

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“About his (Rohit Sharma) captaincy, I want to say that put one tiger in front of 100 lambs then they become tigers. And if you put a lamb in front of 100 tigers then they become sheep. When you put a lion in front of tigers then you get the Indian team,” Sidhu, who is all set to make a comeback as a commentator, told Star Sports.

The MI team management has faced a lot of backlash for their decision to replace Rohit with Hardik as the captain but Sidhu had a different view.

“In my time, people would carry on despite bad form because there were no replacements. Now, Hardik Pandya is replacing the Indian captain as captain at Mumbai Indians because he has performed so well. Not that it is derogatory to Rohit but it is just a thought process. The old order must change yielding place to the new,” Sidhu told PTI.

‘Kohli the greatest Indian batter’: Sidhu

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, who have not played a lot of T20 cricket since the 2022 edition, are expected to be on the flight to USA and Caribbean for the ICC showpiece.

Do the veteran batters still add value to the T20 squad?”They will be needed there. These are giants of the cricketing world. Form is like the morning dew, it can elude you but the class of these people has the stamp of authority.

“I would rate Kohli as the greatest Indian batsman for the simple reason, his fitness, he is getting fitter with age like old wine does. Technically very sound and he has the uncanny knack of adapting to all three formats, same goes for Rohit,” Sidhu explained in his inimitable style.

“Both are quality players. I am not sure about Rohit’s fitness levels. With age you tend to slow down, your reflexes tend to go. Sehwag with those glasses, his reflexes were not the same, I saw it in the IPL.” Sidhu closely tracked India’s campaign in the ODI World Cup last year where the hosts ended as runners-up after being the sole unbeaten side in the group stages. The final loss extended their long wait for a world title but Sidhu isn’t too concerned.

“In the recent World Cup they were playing very well, they just had one bad game, one bad game cannot asses the fortunes of a team. I see the Indian team ruling the roost for a long time because the system that breeds cricketers is very congenial and conducive.


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