Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes Rohit Sharma is capable of handling the role of India's Test vice-captaincy. He even termed the Hitman "an acclaimed leader" in his latest cricket column. His comments come after India's current vice-captain in the longest format, Ajinkya Rahane, has had a string of low scores and is battling poor form. Chappell believes that the right-handed batter could lose his spot in the Indian side with the management turning to Rohit to take over the Test vice-captaincy.
The Aussie legend further says that Rahane's preferred place in the batting lineup, the number 5 position, can be taken by either Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja or Hardik Pandya. His recommendation is in sync with the view that the team must find a way to include world's number 2 ranked bowler Ravichandran Ashwin in their XI. However, he outlined that India could miss Rahane's tactical insights and his slip-catching to spinners.
"The only downside would be the loss of Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical input and his slip fielding to the spinners. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma is now an acclaimed captain and he’s capable of handling the vice-captaincy role," Ian Chappell wrote in his ESPNCricinfo column.
Rahane had previously led Team India in three Tests in Australia in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli. While they had been bowled for 36 at Adelaide after which Virat had to go on a paternity break, Rahane was superb with his leadership skills as India bounced back to win the series 2-1.
Rohit's win percentage as captain in ODIs stands at a splendid 80
Having said that, Rohit has proved himself as a leader time and again but is yet to get a full-time leadership position with the Indian team other than being the vice-captain in limited-overs cricket. He has not only helped Mumbai Indians win a record of five titles but has also helped Team India win in eight out of 10 ODIs that he has had the chance to lead India in. He was even the captain of the Asia Cup winning India side.
Rohit also has 15 out of 19 wins in T20Is as a leader, an excellent stat considering the fact that in most of the recent matches, he has been in charge of second-string sides with some of the top performers being rested.
Ever since his promotion as an opener in Test cricket, the 34-year-old has cemented his place in the team and is currently the top-ranked Indian in the Test rankings.