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Exclusive: Karthik on India having one captain across formats

ICC Review

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On the latest edition of the ICC Review, Dinesh Karthik speaks on Rohit Sharma being appointed the all-format captain of the Indian cricket team, while praising his tactical nous as a leader.

Rohit Sharma was recently appointed India's all-format captain after Virat Kohli decided to step down from his leadership role of the Test side. Rohit's first assignment in the longest format as the skipper will come against Sri Lanka, in a two-match Test series, starting March 4. 

Speaking to Sanjana Ganesan on the ICC Review, Dinesh Karthik said that giving the responsibility to Rohit Sharma was the right call by the selectors. He also believes that the concept of split captaincy would not work in India. 

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ICC Review | Karthik backs Rohit as India's all-format captain

"A cricketing country like India needs one captain," Karthik said. "It is very easy to deal with one captain for all three formats. 

"I remember MS Dhoni saying that split captaincy doesn't work in India that well. We haven't had that over a period of time, so we wouldn't know. But at this point in time when I do see it, I think he (Rohit) is the man. Every time he touched something, it's turned to gold. All the series he has been a part of, he has won convincingly." 

Karthik also praised the way Rohit has used India's bowlers and his handling of young players. India have recently completed 3-0 series sweeps in T20Is against New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka. 

"He has shown a lot of tactical nous in the games that he has played. Moved the bowlers around really well, giving confidence to the batters and when they've won a series, giving opportunities to the young guys. Sometimes taking a backseat, batting in a position where obviously he has not batted there for a long time. So, he is doing a lot of things right." 

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Under Rohit's leadership, India has also integrated a few young players in the limited-overs formats. The likes of Deepak Hooda, Avesh Khan, Venkatesh Iyer and Ravi Bishnoi have all recently made their debuts for India. 

"The good thing is, there have been 2-3 debutants in his captaincy and all have done well. And that doesn't happen always. It's great to see that happening and he is somebody who is a people's person. He understands failures well. So it is very nice that he is taking the team forward."  

Karthik has played alongside Rohit for a long time in internationals, as well as franchise cricket, and revealed that foresight and clarity were the two qualities that stood out about his leadership. 

Revealing anecdotes about his leadership, Karthik said: "Just as an example, the way he chooses to take DRS. The way he speaks to people and then he makes the decisions. It's very interesting the way he has always thought. 

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"I remember when I played quite a lot under him and I've always been surprised with the decisions he takes in terms of bowling changes. The way he marshals his troops. And when I do ask him, he'll give a very clear answer and answer it with a lot of clarity, which I've always enjoyed.

"Being a captain, he is always aware. I have been very impressed when on the field he’s told me to do some things, and exactly that has happened within the next two-to-three balls. I have been like, ‘Wow!’. You need some foresight for that to happen and I've always enjoyed that, whenever he is the captain." 

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