India’s white-ball captain Rohit Sharma said on Sunday that he was “shocked” by Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as the team’s Test skipper but he gave him the best wishes for the future.
Kohli on Saturday made a sudden announcement of stepping down as India’s Test skipper, a day after the 1-2 series loss against South Africa.
The 33-year-old finished his tenure as India’s most successful captain in the longest format of the game.
After taking over the reins from MS Dhoni, he has led India in 68 Test matches and secured 40 wins at a win percentage of 58.82. As Test captain, he registered his first series win against Sri Lanka in 2015, a victory that India earned in the Emerald Island after 22 years.
“Shocked!! But congratulations on a successful stint as Indian captain,” said Rohit in an Instagram post on Sunday.
“All the best wishes for the future,” Rohit further said in Hindi.
Notably, Rohit is now the front-runner for leading India in the longest format as well because he was appointed the Test vice-captain by the Indian selectors ahead of the recently concluded South Africa series.
However, a hamstring injury ruled him out of the series.
The 34-year old Sharma has also emerged as India’s best batter since he returned to the Test team in January 2021 for the final two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In those two matches, Rohit also served as Rahane’s deputy when Kohli returned home after the first Test for the birth of his child.
The selectors’ strong faith in Rohit reflected in their decision to appoint him as India’s white-ball captain ahead of the South Africa tour.
With the second edition of the World Test Championship final as well as the ODI World Cup coming up in 2023, the selectors might not mind having Rohit lead in all three formats as that could help with stability in decision making.