It is not even a year since Rohit Sharma assumed the India captaincy on a full-time basis, but there is already talk about who should lead the Indian team.
India will need to look for a successor for Rohit, who turned 35 in April, after next year’s ODI World Cup with an eye on the future.
Also, considering the workload factor going forward, following in the footsteps of the likes of Ben Stokes, Rohit could consider giving up a format like ODIs and focus on just T20s and Tests.
Outside the World Cup, ODI cricket holds no relevance and its survival has come under severe debate recently. But T20 cricket continues to thrive and several new franchise-based leagues are coming up.
Test cricket, of course, remains the preferred choice for the game’s top players.
The selectors and Head Coach Rahul Dravid have made their stand clear by picking K L Rahul, who returned after a lengthy period on the sidelines following a groin injury and a COVID-19 diagnosis, as the captain for the ODI series in Zimbabwe and the vice-captain for the Asia Cup.
Rahul was not initially selected for the Zimbabwe tour as COVID-19 delayed his return but once he got the all-clear from the medical team, he was drafted as the skipper for the Zimbabwe series, while Shikhar Dhawan, who was originally appointed captain, was relegated to the vice-captaincy for the series.
Rahul is an all format first-choice deputy to regular skipper Rohit. He led the Lucknow Super Giants in IPL 2022, having earlier captained the Punjab Kings in two editions of the IPL.
The move to make Rahul vice-captain for the Asia Cup makes it clear that he could be groomed as the next captain.
But there are several other candidates, who have emerged as the lead contenders for the skipper’s role in recent times.
There is Rishabh Pant, one of the most exciting players with the bat in international cricket. He captained India during the home T20I series against South Africa while also taking the leadership role at Delhi Capitals in the IPL.
Hardik Pandya impressed everyone with his captaincy skills after he led debutants Gujarat Titans to the IPL 2022 title, while also making key contributions with the bat and ball since coming back to the Indian team. He led India during the Ireland T20I series and the final T20I against West Indies in Florida on Sunday.
Jasprit Bumrah impressed many with his captaincy when he led India during the rescheduled fifth Test against England, showing that despite the extra burden of bowling he has the tactical nous to excel as the leader of the pack.
Captaincy in T20s would suit him perfectly as he only has to bowl four overs in a match.
Who should be the next India captain in white ball cricket? Make your choice from the list below and also let us know your views in the message board below:
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