Rohit Sharma    AFP (File Photo)
Rohit Sharma AFP (File Photo)

Rohit Sharma became the sixth Indian to lead in T20Is during the series opener of the three matches versus Sri Lanka at Cuttack. In the ongoing match, Rohit lost the toss and Team India have been asked to bat. Rohit becomes the sixth Indian skipper, joining the likes of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag.

A quick pre-cap of previous Indian captains’ debut encounter

Sehwag led in India’s T20I. It was a match against South Africa at Johannesburg in December 2006. In pursuit of 127, India toppled hosts by 6 wickets in the penultimate ball. Sehwag has never led India in the format since.

Dhoni maiden is T2oI captaincy debut in the maiden 2007 World T20I in South Africa. His first game was an abandoned affair versus Scotland. However, Dhoni’s second match as skipper was against arch-rivals Pakistan. The match ended in a tie but India won by virtue of a bowl-out. Later, Dhoni commenced his memorable captaincy-era after leading India to the title.

Raina became India’s third T20 captain. He remains the third youngest to captain India till date. Many senior players opted out of the limited-overs leg for West Indies tour (2011). Under Raina, India defeated West Indies in a one-off encounter by 16 runs.

Rahane led India in 2015 Zimbabwe tour. His first game, as a leader in the shortest format, turned out to be one-sided as India defended 178 comfortably.

Kohli is the only Indian to lose in his T20I captaincy debut. The match was against England in Kanpur in January 2017. England, riding on Tymal Mills’ spell, slammed India by 7 wickets. However, India came back strongly to win the three-match series 2-1.

Rohit, after a memorable maiden ODI stint as skipper, will be eager to carry on the momentum in the shortest format. He will be on his toes with the willow as he averages only 14.50 versus Sri Lanka in this format.