Prior to India’s tour of South Africa, the Men in Blue have been handed a bit of a setback with Rohit Sharma being ruled out of the Test series due to an injury. The star India opener was recently named the vice-captain of the Test format but is set to miss all three long-format games after sustaining an injury while practicing at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai.
Ever since this news has been confirmed, there have been speculations regarding who could be asked to lead India in case regular-captain Virat Kohli is unavailable or has to leave the field for a few overs.
Here are 3 candidates who can be called upon to do so:
1. Ravichandran Ashwin
Despite being not selected in the Playing XI in each of the four Test matches in England earlier this year, Ashwin could play a crucial role in the think tank with Rohit being ruled out. His selection in the XI seems guaranteed after both Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel were ruled out of the Test series and with so much experience under his belt and the thinking cricketer that he is, the veteran off-spinner could be called upon to lead India if Virat is unavailable or leaves the field due to injury.
2. Jasprit Bumrah
India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah can also be tried in a leadership position. Recently, Australia’s Pat Cummins played his first match as Test captain despite having no prior experience of captaincy that too in a pressure Ashes match. Definitely, Bumrah can step in for a few overs if need arises or even lead the team in a match or two if the situation demands so. He has played lots of international cricket across formats in recent years and has also gained experience while playing in the Indian Premier League.
3. KL Rahul
India’s new white-ball vice-captain KL Rahul could be another one of those who can be trusted with the leadership role in case the team is looking for someone to step in for Virat for a short duration. He has already led the white-ball team in absence of both Virat and Rohit and although this will be a different ballgame altogether, Rahul has never shied away from taking the responsibility and it is likely to be no different if ever there is a need.
Notably, no official vice-captain has been announced for the Tests as of now.