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India vs Sri Lanka: Will be happy to groom leaders, says Rohit Sharma on future captains

While he expects the three potential future captains— KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant— to grow organically as leaders, he did outline his own role in being the bridge.

“I won’t have that much of a role in telling them everything and obviously they all are mature cricketers but someone needs to be around to help them and guide them in difficult situations,” Rohit said on the eve of the T20 International series against Sri Lanka.

“I will be more than happy do that and that is how we have grown up and come through the ranks of becoming captain,” he added.

Although he didn’t take any names, it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had earmarked both Virat Kohli and Rohit as flag-bearers of Indian cricket during his tenure as captain.

“We were also groomed by someone else. It’s a natural process and everyone goes through this, we are no different here and we are same. If we talk of Bumrah, KL, Pant, all these guys, they have a big role to play in India’s success and at the same time, (they are) looked upon as leaders as well.”

But while he wants to prepare them for bigger roles, he also doesn’t want them to deviate from their primary target, which is to win games for India.

“They do understand what they need to do as individuals and there’s a responsibility on their shoulders and again I don’t want to put any pressure on them, these guys are very critical to us and we want these guys to come out freely and execute skills,” explained Rohit.

A fast bowling vice-captain

For this series, Rohit will have Jasprit Bumrah as his vice-captain with Rishabh Pant rested and KL Rahul injured.

Asked what he thought about a bowler as deputy, Rohit said it’s the mind that matters and not the specific skill-set.

“Doesn’t really matter too much, (whether) it’s a batter or a bowler. It’s the mind that matters of that individual and I think Jasprit Bumrah has a great mind…

“I have seen it closely, so honestly, yes, it’s a good way for him to step into the leadership role and I am sure he has taken the game to the next level,” Rohit said.

“I will be playing all games”

Rohit said he has no issues in playing games in bio-secure environments and will only take a break when he feels the need for it.

There were questions before Rohit’s appointment as Test captain on whether he will be keen on leading across formats given the hectic international schedule but the Indian skipper set the record straight.

“At the moment, I have no issues and (I am) looking forward to playing all the games,” Rohit said.

“The workload always depends on what happens thereafter and you take it day by day and understand what you do and if a break is needed, you take a break and someone else comes in.

“You see how the other guy who can fill in, what sort of potential he has. At the moment, it seems to be okay,” the skipper said.

 Roadmap on workload during hectic season

Rohit said that an elaborate road-map is being prepared for workload management during a season when India is playing Sri Lanka at home, followed by IPL, an away tour of England, a home series against South Africa, the away tour of Zimbabwe, the Asia Cup in Pakistan and then the big T20 World Cup in Australia.

“I am very clear in my mind as to how I want to take this forward. Obviously, managing workload, not just me but everyone will be key moving forward,” he stressed.

“We have already seen a lot of injuries in our squad and we have to be careful what we do with individuals and how we rotate them. How we give them that break time that they need from the game, so we are trying to manage that and make a road-map on how we want to move forward,” he added.

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