Former Sri Lanka all-rounder Russell Arnold heaped praise on Rohitt Sharma, saying the Inda captain is leading from the front and he doesn’t have to say much to make his teammates follow his vision in the lead up to next year’s T20 World Cup.

Arnold said India needed a different voice after their early T20 World Cup exit last year and they have found that in Rohit. The former Sri Lanka cricketer’s comments came after India extended their winning streak in T20Is to a new record of 10 after they hammered Sri Lanka by 62 runs in the first of a 3-match T20I series.

Rohit has not faced a defeat in T20Is since taking over from Virat Kohli as India’s full-time T20I captain. Following a 3-0 win over a visiting New Zealand side last year, India, under their new skipper, hammered West Indies 3-0 earlier this month before extending their dominance over Sri Lanka.

Under Rohit, it seems India have made it clear that they would adopt a much more aggressive approach in the first 10 overs. It has been evident in the way Rohit himself has batted at the top of the order. On Thursday, Rohit hit a quickfire 32-ball 44, stitching a match-winning 111-run opening stand with Ishan Kishan.

“Different voice is sometimes good for a team, that’s what India needed. I thought in that T20 World Cup, the pressure of expectations seemed to wear them down. Now that it’s over, all of them are able to express themselves. The captain himself, he generally leads from the front. We never felt he was scoring, but was scoring with a strike rate of 140-150, which is exceptional.” Arnold told Star Sports.

“If someone can look so good and look so cool, he really doesn’t have to say much. Everyone will follow him. The depth is there in the Indian line-up and that will make Rohit’s life a lot easier,” he added.

Rohit, who took over from Virat Kohli as India’s full-time limited-overs captain last year, was recently appointed as the Test captain as well.


Meanwhile, batting great Sunil Gavaskar lauded Rohit Sharma for playing second fiddle to Ishan Kishan, who hit a match-winning 89 from just 56 balls in the first T20I against Sri Lanka, adding that the skipper used all his experience to let his explosive opening partner dominate their partnership.

“You want to get off to a quick start. That is what you got from Rohit and Ishan. Rohit’s experience and captaincy skills came through because he didn’t try to outscore Ishan when he was batting well. He was happy to take singles and give Ishan the strike,” he added.

India posted 199 on the board before restricting Sri Lanka to 137/6 in 20 overs to go 1-0 up in the 3-match T20I series.

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