Top 5 players Virat Kohli passed on to Rohit Sharma

Top 5 players Virat Kohli passed on to Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Virat Kohli served as India’s full-time captain in all formats from 2017 to 2021 and during this period, the team played an aggressive brand of cricket and won the series in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. At home, India won the majority of the series under Kohli’s sensational leadership.

The success India got during that period was due to some extraordinary talents picked up by Kohli. These players broke into the Indian team and produced effective performances to help Kohli achieve the desired results. In February 2021, Rohit Sharma took over the captaincy mantle, and now these players are essential members of the Indian team on the back of their remarkable match-winning prowess.

Here are the top five players Virat Kohli gave to Rohit Sharma

5. Shardul Thakur

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur (Image source; Getty Images)

Shardul Thakur serves as an all-rounder in the Indian team. In August 2017, he made his international debut against Sri Lanka in the One-Day International (ODI) match in Colombo. Since then, the Mumbai player has played 38 ODIs for India, in which he has racked up 315 runs and 58 wickets.

In October 2018, Shardul broke into Test cricket during the West Indies tour of India. He played a vital role in India’s victory against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21. Playing the final Test at the Gabba, his all-round performance (67 in the first innings and 7/155 bowling figures in the match) helped India win the game by three wickets. 

Under Rohit Sharma, Thakur featured in India’s World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final squad. The 31-year-old is consistently playing ODI cricket under Rohit’s captaincy and in the upcoming days, Shardul could be seen making an important contribution to Indian cricket with his all-round skills.

4. Mohammed Siraj

Mohammed Siraj
Mohammed Siraj. (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar)

Mohammed Siraj is a crucial part of India’s pace attack along with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. The right-arm bowler featured in international cricket for the first time during New Zealand’s tour of India in 2017. In the second T20 International played against the Black Caps, Siraj got a chance to play his maiden international game.

In 2019, he toured Australia to play a three-match ODI series. Virat Kohli, who was the skipper of India then, gave a chance to the pacer in the second one-day. During India’s tour of Australia in 2020, Siraj made his debut in Test cricket as well. He showcased his mettle in the Pataudi Trophy 2021-22 taking 18 wickets in nine innings of five Tests and ended up as the fourth-leading wicket-taker in the competition.

The Hyderabad-born speedster was a member of India’s playing XI against Australia in the World Test Championship (WTC) final 2023 squad. India lost the contest against the Aussies but Siraj became the highest wicket-taker for the team with five wickets. Under Rohit’s leadership, the 29-year-old has emerged as a premier pacer in one-day cricket.

3. Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav, WIvsIND 4th T20I
Kuldeep Yadav, WIvsIND 4th T20I. (Photo Source: BCCI? Instagram)

Kuldeep Yadav could make it to the list of spin-bowling greats due to his unprecedented talent. The left-arm wrist spinner has shown several times how he could outclass batters with his excellent bowling. His stunning delivery against Babar Azam in the World Cup 2019 is counted among one of the best deliveries bowled by spinners in the last 10 years in the international circuit.

Kuldeep made his maiden appearance in international cricket during the Border-Gavaskar trophy 2016-17 in March 2017. In the same year, Kohli handed Kuldeep his ODI and Test debuts as well. In white-ball cricket, his pairing with Yuzvendra Chahal became famous for causing damage to the opponents.

In the 2019 World Cup, he spearheaded India’s spin attack along with Chahal and took six wickets in seven games at an economy of 5.02. The 28-year-old is an essential member of India’s ODI team under Rohit’s captaincy. Kuldeep is a formidable player in the squad and noting his exceptional talent, Rohit will look to utilise his skills and help India taste success in the future.

2. Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzi Chahal
Yuzi Chahal. (Photo Source: Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

Yuzvendra Chahal is a key part of India’s bowling unit as he is the leader of the team’s spin attack in white-ball cricket. Back in 2017, when India toured Zimbabwe, MS Dhoni, the then-India captain, gave Chahal the opportunity to make his international debut in the first ODI in Harare.

However, he became a regular part of the national team during Kohli’s captaincy tenure. During England’s tour of India in 2016, Chahal clinched 6/25 bowling figures in the third T20I at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium and won the confidence of his captain Kohli. Later, he also proved himself in ODI cricket with his match-winning bowling.

In the 2019 World Cup, he performed efficiently with the ball and ended up with 12 wickets in eight matches at an economy of 5.97. Rohit, the current India skipper, has maintained his trust in Chahal as the leg-spinner has done wonders with the ball and has helped India pull off some important games.

1. Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rishabh Pant has done a brilliant job as a wicketkeeper batter for India. In Tests, it was his batting display that helped the team vanquish Australia in their backyard for the consecutive second time in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2021. Accumulating 274 runs in three matches of the series, he became the leading run-getter for India in the competition.

Taking up India’s captaincy mantle in white-ball cricket in 2017, Kohli gave a chance to Pant during India’s T20I series against England in February 2017. In the third T20I, the southpaw played as a number six batter. The next year, he broke into ODI and Test teams as well. 

Currently, Pant is out of cricketing action after his accident on the Delhi-Dehradun highway in December 2022. In his absence, skipper Rohit has tried Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson in the one-day format but none of the players have been effective as the 25-year-old dashing left-handed batter.     

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