Former Australian spinner hopes Indian dressing room doesn’t get divided amid split captaincy

Sydney: Former Australian left-arm spinner Brad Hogg feels split captaincy in the Indian cricket team setup is a good move and hoped that when the team tours South Africa for a Test and ODI series, the changing room doesn’t get divided because of the division of roles between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gave the complete white-ball captaincy to Rohit Sharma, who successfully led India to a 3-0 win over New Zealand in the T20I series at home recently, while Kohli will remain captain of the Test side.

Days before the start of the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE, Kohli had announced that he would step down as India’s T20 captain after the showpiece tournament, but said he would like to continue as the ODI and Test skipper.

But ahead of the Test and ODI series against South Africa beginning on December 26, the BCCI announced that Sharma will also lead the ODI side, with experts saying the move will not go down well with Kohli.

However, Hogg, who played seven Tests and 123 ODIs for Australia, said on his YouTube channel on Saturday that the two skippers should take it as a “blessing in disguise”.

“I just think this is a good move; Kohli should embrace it and relax about the whole situation because it will help him to concentrate on leading the Test team. And you have a white-ball captain… so Rohit Sharma would be concentrating on the team he wants in white-ball and Kohli can relax about the whole situation and concentrate on Test cricket,” said Hogg.

“I just hope that when they go on their next tour (South Africa) then the change room is not separated by this little slight division between these particular two players in the leadership role. Both of them are going to embrace it, get into the change room and jell and move forward and take Indian cricket forward,” opined the former spinner.

The former Australian cricketer said that it will take a lot of pressure off Kohli’s shoulders and help him relax.

“It takes a lot of pressure off, the media hype off the field all of a sudden that relaxes Kohli; he’s only got to be worried about the Test environment and Rohit just got to concentrate on white-ball environment. Plus all the sponsorship commitments and all the other commitments off the field. I think it’s going to be better for Kohi; it’s gonna improve his performances which have slightly dropped off in the last couple of years when he has been under pressure captaining all three teams. So, I think it’s a blessing in disguise.”

Hogg also said that with the kind of depth India has in batting and bowling, it won’t be surprising if they dominate world cricket for at least five years.

“Indian cricket, with the depth they’ve got in their batting and bowling, should dominate world cricket over the next five years at least. It’s only going to be a little bit of disruption (split captaincy) between a couple of players that unsettles the network between the group, (but) that will turn things around,” felt Hogg.


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