India’s premier off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin, was effusive in praise of the “human element” of Rohit Sharma following the massive victory in Mohali against Sri Lanka. However, that has got fans thinking whether Ashwin took a slight dig at former skipper Virat Kohli.
Ravichandran Ashwin had a memorable Test last week, as he went past the legendary Kapil Dev‘s tally of 434 Test wickets to become India’s second-highest Test wicket-taker. Among Indians, he now sits at 436 Test scalps, behind only Anil Kumble who has a record of 619 wickets.
The Mohali match was Sharma’s debut game as India’s Test captain and the new skipper has earned praises from all corners as India brushed aside the Lankans by an innings and 222 runs.
Ravichandran Ashwin, who was surprisingly benched for all the four Tests in England last year under Kohli’s captaincy, lauded Rohit for his compassionate leadership shown in the way he gave Jayant Yadav the ball, despite Ashwin and Jadeja wreaking havoc, when Jayant was going wicketless.
Ravichandran Ashwin praised the “human element” Rohit Sharma’s captaincy
“We all know how tactically strong Rohit is but I also saw a lot of human element in the way he led the side. He is looking out for everyone in the team, the way he wanted to look after Jayant Yadav, our third spinner; Rohit wanted to rotate the bowlers, like keeping the pacers on from one end through the match,” Ashwin said in a chat with BCCI.
Ravichandran Ashwin further confirmed that Rohit wanted Jadeja to complete his double century, but it was Jadeja who signalled that India should declare, leaving himself 25 runs away from a double hundred.
“Even beyond these tactical things, he was able to keep the game simple. When Rohit wanted to declare, he wanted Jadeja to get a double hundred. Eventually Jaddu said it’s not important because it will take time and we should declare. It’s not like Rohit is new to captaincy and I thought he did a phenomenal job,” Ravichandran Ashwin added.
Ravichandran Ashwin reckoned Rohit Sharma must be feeling immensely proud and filled with pride after leading India to a Test victory for the first time.
“Captaining India in a Test is a matter of great pride and an honour for any cricketer. Becoming captain may not be everybody’s dream, all you want to do is wear the Indian jersey but I’m sure Rohit lived his dream to the fullest on that day.
“To start off by winning the toss was extremely important and obviously I think he would have enjoyed that big margin of victory as a captain for the first time,” Ashwin stated.
A slightly different challenge awaits for Rohit Sharma in Bangalore, the venue for the second Test match against Sri Lanka, as the next game will be a day-night Test which will be played with the pink ball.