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Not Virat Kohli, But Rohit Sharma; Former England Veteran Picks Captain As India's Bradman

image-lr620xn0Rohit will captain India in upcoming T20I & Test series (AP Photo)

After securing a 1-1 draw in South Africa, Team India will play a strenuous five-Test series against a touring England side, which begins on January 25. While limited-overs captaincy remains debated, Rohit Sharma undoubtedly remains the leader in Tests and will once again be expected to dish out runs on pitches, which will have turn from the get-go.

In the past few World Test Championship (WTC) cycles, Sharma has been India's most consistent batter at home, where the opener struck match-winning centuries in difficult conditions - 161 versus England, Chennai 2021 and 120 against Australia, Nagpur 2023. 

Former England spinner Monty Panesar, who tasted a rare Test series success in India during the 2012-13 season, has given his winning mantra about beating the hosts, which heavily revolves around Sharma. 

Speaking to Hindustan Times, Panesar first compared Sharma to Sir Donald Bradman and then urged England to keep the Indian captain quiet if they had any shot at winning a series. 

He's the Don Bradman of turning pitches - Monty Panesar

"Indian batters are attacking against the turning ball. They are a bit more fearless. The key man for India is going to be Rohit Sharma. He's the Don Bradman of turning pitches. His record is unbelievable. England have to get Rohit out early right through to have a chance of winning the Test series. If England can keep Rohit quiet, India will be going to Plan B. You then put the younger batters under pressure. That is going to be key."

Out of Sharma's 3,737 Test runs, 2,002 have come in Indian conditions, which is laced with eight hundred and six fifties, with a top score of 212.

The first Test of the Anthony de Mello Trophy 2024, will be played at Hyderabad, which will then be followed by - Visakhapatnam (2nd), Rajkot (3rd), Ranchi (4th) and Dharamshala (5th) - all of whom will be part of the ongoing WTC 2023-25 cycle.