Rohit Sharma was appointed as India’s permanent Test captain on Saturday (February 19). The Hitman will now be leading India across all formats of the game and his first major assignment in Tests will be the upcoming two-match series against Sri Lanka at home. The Chetan Sharma-led selection panel announced India’s Test and T20I squads for the Sri Lanka series on Saturday.
Apart from naming Rohit as the new Test captain, the selection committee also made some notable exclusions from the squad with an eye on the future. Senior players like Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Wriddhiman Saha were dropped from the side to make way for youngsters. In the absence of KL Rahul, who will miss the series due to an injury, pacer Jasprit Bumrah has been named India’s vice-captain for both the T20I and Test series against Sri Lanka.
While speaking about the future captaincy prospects of the Indian cricket team, chief selector Sharma named three potential candidates who will be groomed for a leadership role under current skipper Rohit. Sharma said Rahul, Bumrah and wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant are among potential captaincy candidates for the Indian team going forward.
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“…and if such a big cricketer comes forward, if such an experienced player becomes a captain, then automatically, the things that we as a selection committee want, grooming captain under Rohit, will be a tremendous thing for us,” said the selection committee chairman Sharma while addressing a virtual press conference on Saturday.
“We made KL the captain in South Africa. Bumrah was the deputy in South Africa and again for the Sri Lanka series. In West Indies T20s, we had Rishabh as vice-captain. These are potential leaders to be groomed under Rohit. Yes, it is difficult to say who will be next captain but we are sure a name will emerge,” he added.
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While Rahul served as stand-in captain for the Indian team in Rohit’s absence during the ODI series against South Africa, Pant is the vice-captain of the team for the ongoing three-match T20I series against West Indies. Bumrah will act as Rohit’s deputy in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.
India will take on Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series starting from February 24 followed by two Tests.
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