Splitting Captaincy Between Kohli & Rohit Won’t Work: Kapil Dev

“If you have two captains, players might think he is going to be my captain in Tests. I will not annoy him.”

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Cricket
3 min read
File image of former India captain Kapil Dev.
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Former captain Kapil Dev strongly believes that split captaincy will not in favour of the Indian cricket team and added that there is a chance it could lead more differences.

“An MNC cannot have two CEOs”, said former India skipper Kapil Dev on Friday evening at the HT Leadership Summit which was held virtually.

Should Rohit Sharma take over from Virat Kohli in the T20 format at least? This topic has picked up momentum after IPL 2020 with Rohit winning the trophy a fifth time with Mumbai Indians. Kohli, who captains Royal Challengers Bangalore has never won the title.

“In our culture it is not going to happen that way. In one company you make two CEOs? No. If Kohli is going to play T20s and he is good enough. Let him be there. Even though I would like to see other people coming out. But it’s difficult,” said Kapil.

“Our 80 per cent, 70 per cent of the team across formats is same team. They don’t like captains having different theory. It may bring more differences between the players who look up to the captain.

“If you have two captains, players might think he is going to be my captain in Tests. I will not annoy him.”

The 61-year-old recently underwent an angioplasty after suffering a heart attack.

Talking about the art of fast bowling, the 1983 World Cup-winning former skipper said that does not like the trend of fast bowlers opting for too many variations.

“I am not happy with fast bowlers (these days). The first ball cannot be cross seam. Players in IPL realised that swing is more important than pace. Sandeep (Sharma), who bowled 120 kph, was tougher because he was moving the ball,” he explained.

Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma share a light moment with Virat Kohli. 
Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma share a light moment with Virat Kohli. 
(Image: BCCI)

“Bowlers have to understand it’s not the pace, it’s the swing. They should learn but are running away from art. T Natarajan was my hero of IPL. Young boy was fearless and bowling so many yorkers,” the legendary all-rounder said referring to the two Sunrisers Hyderabad pacers.

Kapil feels variations are a waste if one doesn’t know how to swing the ball.

“Keep your wrist straight, hold the ball seam-up. Whenever the ball moves Tests matches become important. Wasim, Botham, Willis, Hadlee. McGrath, look how good he was.

“The art of swing bowling should come back. Learning the knuckle ball and all is fine. If you don’t know how to swing the ball, everything is waste,” said the great all-rounder.

The former captain though is quite happy with India’s current pace battery.

“I read somewhere that Lara said he (would) rather prefer face Kapil Dev but not Lara. Our fast bowlers are brilliant.

“Look at Shami, Bumrah. As a cricketer, it gives me a lot of happiness to say that today we depend on our fast bowlers. Our bowlers are capable of taking 20 wickets in a match. We’ve had spinners Kumble, Harbhajan, but today no country would like to say ‘give them bouncy wickets’.”

He also appealed to the ICC to ensure Test cricket doesn’t die in the age of T20 cricket.

“If it (Test cricket) dies, I would say ICC have done the worst thing… Let us not let it die… Yes cricket has changed. People around the world only want to play IPL, BBL and tournaments like that…

“I would say IPL has given us strength. What used to be county cricket, every player used to play there (in England) but today IPL is giving the same benefit to us as the players are coming and playing in India.

“…Don’t just think about T20 or IPL, you have to look after first class cricket, Tests and ODIs. Yes, money making factor is there but we should not forget our tradition. Tennis for example, we still have Wimbledon played on grass,” said Kapil.

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