Rohit Sharma’s captain coronation
On Saturday, the selection committee crowned Rohit Sharma as the Test captain for the imminent two-match series against Sri Lanka. Sharma took over the white-ball captaincy earlier and undoubtedly, a new era in Indian cricket has begun with him being the captain for all three formats.
Rohit’s coronation followed the removal of two veterans, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane since the chain of batting failures from the two senior batters. Although they are not added to the squad, Chetan Sharma, the Chief selector mentioned that the drafting will be subject to their performance in the Ranji Trophy.
Grooming a future captain under Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma’s path to being the Test skipper became clearer as the former Test captain Virat Kohli resigned his position followed by the Test defeat in South Africa. It was only a matter of his fitness that was in his way as a hurdle. KL Rahul became the interim captain during the short stint. India proceeded to lose the series and Rahul’s captaincy not only failed to help the team win, but also did not inspire any confidence.
Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, and KL Rahul have been shortlisted as the captaincy successors. The grooming process will take place under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma. Bumrah became the vice-captain for the Sri Lankan series as Rahul is left out of the squad due to a hamstring injury. This is the first time India has entrusted a fast bowler with leadership after Kapil Dev.
End of the road for Pujara and Rahane?
The popularity and the likes of youngsters like Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill put the veteran pair under pressure, thus the removal was expected. Selectors and the team management are grooming Gill as the team’s new one-down batsman.
Rohit Sharma made a diplomatic comment when asked about the veterans. He said that they will not consider them for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka and asked them to play Ranji Trophy. He also added that the performance is what matters the most and the doors are completely open for them.
Rahane scored a century for Mumbai against Saurashtra in the Ranji, but Pujara was dismissed for a duck. It is a rarity that a player in his mid-thirties returns to Test after being chucked out.
Their comeback will completely depend on the performances of Gill, Iyer, and Vihari against Sri Lanka subsequently. The Test cricket future of Rahane and Pujara is no longer in their hands. The replacements will have to fail for them to come back into the squad.