When asked to rate his captaincy, Rohit put things into perspective, especially in the Tests, where he had led just six games (two against Sri Lanka and four against Australia).
“I’m still learning as a captain in every game I’ve captained. I’ve captained a lot in T20 cricket, more than other formats, but Test cricket, I’ve only captained six games. I’m still learning and the guys around me, I’ve played cricket a lot and they’re there to help me,” Rohit told reporters in Ahemdabad on Monday.
So what is his effective leadership mantra?
“Whenever I lead the team I try to keep it really simple. It’s always been my goal not to try to do anything absolutely weird. Keep it simple because it’s a longer version of the game and you have to be patient.
“You have to be able to make the right decision and for that you have to stay calm on the pitch. And those are the things I always think about when I’m captain of the team. Yet, as I said, I learn about my Captain. I appreciate it.
The most important aspect is having the support of the dressing room.
“I really enjoy this time leading the team. There have also been challenges. I have also been challenged as captain and when you play a series like this you are obliged to do errors.
“I made a few mistakes, but that’s how you learn and try not to repeat those mistakes over and over again. I’m still discovering new things about how I want to take the team forward.”
Rohit’s media interactions are never-to-be-missed events. His answers are precise, he remains relaxed, and the answers are mixed with a touch of humor.
That said, serious questions are answered with due diligence and even the most contentious issues are debunked.
When asked to analyze India’s win in the series against Australia, he literally rocked the house.
“Chaar Test match. Pura karna hai (analyze) kyaa? Nagpur se yehaan taak. Main toh 3 Test matches se karte aa raha hoon (You want me to analyze again, straight from Nagpur to this match. I did during the last three games),” he said with a deadpan expression and the audience couldn’t help but burst out laughing.
“Virat didn’t look at the scoreboard and just hit”
Rohit has played so much cricket with Virat Kohli that you can’t find a better explanation of his longtime teammate’s state of mind than the Indian skipper.
“Look, he’s played over 100 Tests, got so many hundreds, for a player like him it’s a few innings here and there. We’ve seen in cricket in white ball, we’ve seen in Asian Cup , he scored that 100 and never looked. I hope it will be the same with the red ball,” Rohit said.
So what was Kohli’s “process” in hitting 186 here?
“It’s about going out there and applying yourself and doing the same things. He (Kohli) did pretty well and he did his own things rather than worrying about the scoreboard and he’s just hit the way he hits. Usually that’s what brought him success,” he explained.
A scribe asked Rohit if Kohli was unwell while beating on the third and fourth days, the reason for the query being a social media post by Kohli’s wife, Anushka Sharma, about his health.
“I don’t think he’s sick. He was just coughing a bit. He’s not in such bad health,” Rohit said.
“In four years, I don’t know if Jaddu, Ash or I will be there”
Rohit has always retained his sense of humor but he is also very practical in certain aspects of his game and his career.
The next Border-Gavaskar Trophy in India will be in 2027 (Australia will host in 2025) and the deadly combination of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin may not be there in four years.
“I honestly don’t know if they (Jaddu-Ash) will be there. I don’t know if I will be there. Four years is a long time. Honestly for Indian cricket I hope they stay and play cricket a lot. They are both marathon runners for us.
Rohit was quick to admit that Ashwin and Jadeja were the main reasons for India’s success over the past decade.
“Where we are today in terms of performance in Indian conditions, a lot of credit goes to them. A lot of our success belongs to these two guys. It’s not just for a period of a few years, it’s is on a It’s a very long time to keep playing like these two guys did for us.
“I can only hope they keep playing for as long as possible because those shoes will definitely be very, very big to fill.”
“Not aware of viral video heckling Shami”
On the first day of the test match, which was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese, a video went viral where few spectators were seen calling out point guard Mohammed Shami and chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’.
Rohit said he was unaware of any such incident.
“Completely unaware of that. I heard that for the first time and I don’t know what happened there.”
(With PTI entries)