Australia great Ricky Ponting pointed out that India skipper Rohit Sharma is the key to India rising in the ongoing marquee tournament and believes that the right-handed batter is the ideal captain to lead the Men in Blue to victory in the 2023 World Cup at home. When comparing the characteristics of Rohit and his predecessor Virat Kohli, the Australian icon remarked that the former India captain would have struggled to cope with the pressure of the big occasion.
The Men in Blue made a strong start to the ODI World Cup campaign, winning three back-to-back matches. India opened its campaign with a six-wicket victory over five-time champion Australia, followed by an eight-wicket victory over Afghanistan. Then they went on to thump arch-rival Pakistan by seven wickets in their previous match.
"He's very laid back, Rohit. Very laid back with everything he does. You can even see that by the way that he plays. He's a pretty laconic sort of batsman as well, and that's the way he is both on and off the field," Ponting told the ICC.
Ricky Ponting opines on Virat Kohli's style of captaincy:
"We can't sit back and say that the pressure won't get to them at some stage, or it won't affect them, because it will, just with the enormity of the tournament. But he'll take it and cope with it as well as probably anyone," he added.
Ponting went on to say that Rohit is the best person to lead India in the World Cup, leaving Kohli to focus on his starring role with the bat.
"Someone like Virat, who is a bit more heart-on-the-sleeve, and probably listens to the fans and plays up with the fans a little bit more, someone with his personality would probably find it a bit harder," Ponting said.
Rohit-led Team India will look to carry their winning form in the WC as they prepare to lock horns with Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Thursday.