Rohit Sharma passed out with flying colours on his first day as India’s full-time ODI captain, against West Indies on Sunday in Ahmedabad. So much that Sunil Gavaskar gave Sharma a near-perfect 9.99 score out of 10 for his captaincy after India registered a 6-wicket win.
Sharma won the toss in India’s 1000th ODI and elected to bowl first. He was excellent with his bowling changes and field placings. From introducing Washington Sundar in the powerplay, keeping one pacer at the other end all the time when Yuvendra Chahal came on to bowl, or using Prasidh Krishna as an enforcer in multiple spells, Rohit’s plans were clear. He even got three umpiring decisions overturned.
Chasing a paltry target of 177, Sharma got India off the blocks quickly with a rapid start. His brisk innings of 60 runs off 51 balls made a light work of the target.
Sunil Gavaskar was largely impressed by all this and rated Sharma 9.99 points.
Speaking with Star Sports, the former India captain said: “This is the kind of perfect start he wanted. Even before that he tossed the coin in such a way that Pollard called it wrong. So you got to remember that right from the beginning he got it right. Therefore with a win like this it is always a good start and he contributed to the win in terms of scoring with what is your specialty, that is batting. You have done that and of course been able to make the bowling changes, the field placing. You get just about everything right. So I think if you ask me on a scale of 10, I will give him 9.99.”
After the game, Rohit Sharma, though, pointed out a couple of aspects where India could have been better.
“I don’t believe in perfect game. You cannot be perfect. We want to keep getting better. All in all a great effort from everyone. We ticked all boxes. Pretty happy with that. With that bat we could’ve finished with not so many wickets, that is one. Could also have created pressure on their lower order,” Rohit Sharma said.
The second ODI is scheduled for Wednesday at the same venue.