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T20 World Cup 2024: Rohit Sharma conjured magic, sometimes with bat & sometimes with captaincy

T20 World Cup 2024: Rohit Sharma's tactical genius in the field and attacking strokeplay with the bat pave the way for India's 2nd T20 World Cup title.

T20 World Cup 2024: Rohit Sharma lead India to 2nd T20 World Cup title | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_X)
Rohit Sharma lead India to 2nd T20 World Cup title (Source: ©BCCI/X)

On a memorable Saturday night, team India etched their name in cricketing history by defeating South Africa by a slim 7-run margin to secure the T20 World Cup 2024 title. This victory, led by the astute captaincy of Rohit Sharma, marked India’s second T20 World Cup win, ending an 11-year ICC title drought. Rohit Sharma’s leadership, characterised by strategic brilliance and a calm demeanour, played a pivotal role in this triumph.

The tactical genius of Rohit Sharma

Promoting Axar Patel to Number 5

Rohit’s decision to promote Axar Patel to number 5 was a masterstroke. With India reeling from the early loss of key wickets—Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav—it was expected that Shivam Dube would join Virat Kohli in the middle. 

However, Rohit and the team management opted for Axar Patel, a move that capitalised on Axar’s sublime form. This decision paid off handsomely as Axar played a crucial 47-run knock, stabilising the innings and setting the stage for Dube’s quick-fire 27 off 16 balls. This tactical call not only rescued India from a precarious situation but also set a defendable total of 176 runs.

Perfect field placement against de Kock

Quinton de Kock, South Africa’s dangerous batter, was dismissed, thanks to Rohit’s brilliant field placement. Rohit handed the ball to left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, instructing him to target De Kock’s body with the wind blowing from west to east. Rohit strategically placed fielders at deep mid-wicket, deep square leg and deep fine leg.

Arshdeep’s off-cutter, directed at De Kock’s waist, forced the batter to hit against the breeze, resulting in a catch to Kuldeep Yadav at deep fine leg. This strategic dismissal was a turning point in the match, curbing South Africa’s momentum.

Saving Jasprit Bumrah for slog overs

Rohit’s decision to save Jasprit Bumrah for the slog overs was another testament to his strategic acumen. Despite Heinrich Klaasen hitting Axar Patel for 24 runs in the 15th over, Rohit resisted the urge to bring Bumrah back into the attack immediately. 

Instead, he opted to bowl out the spinners, preserving Bumrah for the crucial final overs. This decision proved vital as Bumrah’s death-over heroics restricted South Africa to 169/8, sealing India’s victory.

Stats speak volumes about Rohit’s captaincy 

Rohit Sharma’s captaincy record is nothing short of phenomenal. He became the first captain to achieve 50 T20I wins, with a staggering win-loss ratio of 4.17 (50 wins and 12 defeats). His overall captaincy win-loss ratio across formats stands at 3.61 (94 wins and 26 defeats), the best among all Indian captains. In T20 World Cups, Rohit led India to 12 wins out of 14 matches, the third-most by any captain in the tournament’s history.

Rohit’s individual performances were equally impressive. He retired as the leading run-scorer in Men’s T20Is with 4,231 runs, including five centuries—joint-most with Glenn Maxwell. In the 2024 T20 World Cup, he was the highest run-getter for India, scoring 248 runs at a strike rate of 155.97.

T20 World Cup 2024, IND vs AUS_ Rohit Sharma scored 92 off 41 balls; India beat Australia _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC_X)
Rohit Sharma was the 2nd highest run-scorer in T20 WC 2024 (Source: ©ICC/X)

Praise from Peers and Legends

Jasprit Bumrah, India’s star pacer, lauded Rohit’s leadership, emphasising his proactive approach and the freedom he gives to his players. “Rohit Sharma has been absolutely phenomenal. He gives a lot of freedom to his players and shares his experience at the right moments. It feels great to play under him,” Bumrah remarked.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain also praised Rohit, highlighting his calming influence and strategic brilliance. “Rohit is like the iron fist in the velvet glove. He has a very calming influence, and you don’t mess around with him. He’s a big brother who looks after his players,” Hussain said.

Leading by Example

Rohit’s leadership was not confined to tactical brilliance; he led by example with the bat. His match-winning 92-run knock against Australia in the Super Eight stage and a solid 57-run innings in the semi-final against England were crucial in India’s journey to the final. His ability to step up in high-pressure situations showcased his dedication and commitment to the team’s cause.

A legacy cemented

Rohit Sharma’s retirement from T20Is following the World Cup victory marked the end of an era. His career stats are a testament to his greatness—most T20I runs (4,231), most sixes (205), and the longest T20I career span (16 years, 284 days). He led India to two T20 World Cup finals, joining an elite group of captains like MS Dhoni and Kumar Sangakkara.

In the 2024 T20 World Cup, Rohit became the oldest captain to lift the trophy, leading a balanced team with strategic acumen and calmness under pressure. His leadership style, combining tactical brilliance with emotional intelligence, inspired his team to perform their best when it mattered most.

Rohit Sharma’s captaincy magic lies in his ability to make bold decisions, adapt to changing situations and inspire his team with his calm demeanour and strategic brilliance. His leadership in the 2024 T20 World Cup will be remembered as one of the finest in cricket history, cementing his legacy as one of India’s greatest captains.


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