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No Fear No Favour

Dilip Vengsarkar suggests two names who can succeed Virat Kohli as India’s Test Captain

Rohit Sharma might be India’s designated vice-captain in Tests but he isn’t the outright favourite to succeed Virat Kohli as India’s skipper in the longest format.

Kohli’s resignation from the role has given the selection committee a huge headache when it comes to picking the team’s next Test skipper.

While there are those who are backing Rohit for the role, others believe that Rohit isn’t a long-term solution because of his fitness concerns and age. Former India cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar feels either Rohit or Ravichandran Ashwin could be handed Test captaincy for the period of one year where a long-term skipper can be groomed too. Vengsarkar didn’t suggest KL Rahul as one of the options despite some reports suggesting that the Karnataka lad is one of the favourites.

“If you ask me, it may be a practical idea to have a stop-gap arrangement with Rohit Sharma or even Ravi Ashwin for a year or so and groom someone in the meanwhile”, said the former India cricketer.

From his own experience, Vengsarkar revealed how the selection committee backed Anil Kumble when Rahul Dravid had quit Test captaincy. Though there were those who wanted MS Dhoni to succeed Rahul, Kumble eventually got the nod and it paid off.

“Interestingly, my committee was faced with a similar situation when Rahul Dravid stepped down from captaincy and we had a demanding Australia tour round the corner. Some felt that MS Dhoni, who was leading in the shorter format, be promoted but we went ahead with Anil Kumble who did a fantastic job,” he recalled.

Speaking of Kohli’s decision to quit captaincy, Vengsarkar isn’t of the opinion that the Indian captain resigned from his role because the pressure of being a skipper was taking a toll on his batting.

“I don’t agree with this for I feel that Kohli has had a dream run for nearly five years as a batsman and captain. For all the talk about his current lean phase, I feel that Indians are often obsessed with statistics and that’s something that I don’t believe in”, opined Vengsarkar.

The name of Kohli’s successor in the Test format is expected to be revealed by the BCCI after the conclusion of the ODI series against South Africa.

By line: Divya Thearia

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