I would make Rishabh Pant the next Test captain: Sunil Gavaskar

The 72-year-old also explained behind his logic of picking Pant as Kohli's successor in red-ball cricket.

Rohan GulatyAuthor

Updated - 16 January 2022 10:37 AM


As Virat Kohli made the shocking announcement of stepping down from India's Test captaincy, the entire cricket fraternity has been taken by surprise. No one had seen this coming considering the incredible amount of success the nation had enjoyed in red-ball cricket under Kohli's leadership.

He took over the side when they were ranked No. 7 and in few years, he made India No. 1 ranked side in Test cricket. Considering the team is a formidable force in red-ball cricket now, they would need an able leader who can take the side forward.

With so many names like KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma doing rounds on social media, Sunil Gavaskar was asked on Saturday about his opinion on the entire situation.

In conversation with India Today, Sunil Gavaskar said, "It's going to be quite a debate as far as selection committee is concerned as to who should be the person taking Indian cricket forward. First and foremost you look at somebody who is available and is amongst the first picks and automatic selection in all three formats of the game. And once that happens, I think the job becomes much easier."

Gavaskar explains why Pant is the right man to take over from Kohli

He also talked about his choice for Kohli's successor, which was indeed quite an interesting pick. "If it were up to me, I would make Rishabh Pant the next test captain." The 72-year-old opined that added responsibility of leadership would make the wicket-keeper batsman an even better cricketer going ahead.

Justifying his point, Gavaskar said, "Just like when Rohit Sharma was given the captaincy for Mumbai Indians when Ponting stepped down, look at the change in his batting after that. Suddenly the responsibility of being the captain meant that instead of playing those beautiful cameos of 30s, 40s, 60s, he was scoring 100s, 150s, 20ss. I think that sense of responsibility given to Rishabh Pant will make him score many more of those wonderful hundreds like we saw at Newlands a couple of days back."

After he was questioned by the panel if he believes Rishabh Pant has the ability to lead Team India in Tests at the age of 24, Gavaskar gave the example of Tiger Pataudi who became captain at the age of 21 and did extremely well. The 72-year-old also added that considering the job he has done with Delhi Capitals, he believes that Pant could make India an exciting side to watch in Tests going ahead.


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