When the national selectors pick the squad for the tour of South Africa later this week, Virat Kohli’s status as ODI captain, his Test deputy Ajinkya Rahane’s future as vice-captain in the longest format, and 100-Test man Ishant Sharma’s spot will be up for debate.
Chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma, Abey Kuruvilla, and Sunil Joshi are in town to see the Mumbai Test, and they will meet with president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah later this week to make a few choices that might have far-reaching implications for Indian cricket.
BCCI on Virat Kohli’s Captaincy
Since stepping aside as India’s T20I captain following the T20 World Cup last month, Virat Kohli’s ODI captaincy has been a discussion topic.
Despite having stated that he will lead the squad in both Tests and ODIs, several sources have speculated that Kohli may not remain as the team’s ODI captain. In fact, there have been rumors that India’s new head coach, Rahul Dravid, wants Rohit Sharma, who led India in the T20I series against New Zealand, to take over the whole white-ball leadership.
“As of now, it looks difficult that Virat would be able to keep his ODI captaincy but since ODI isn’t important this year with very few matches here and there, one can think of delaying the decision,” a senior BCCI source said.
“But the counter-argument is that why do you want to have separate ideas for two formats and if the majority of people in charge of making decisions feel that Rohit is the man going forward and will get time to prepare a team for the 2023 event,” he added.
Rahane and Pujara are set to keep their spots, while Rohit Sharma will likely take over as vice-captain. There won’t be many surprises in coach Rahul Dravid’s first overseas assignment since he doesn’t want to upset the squad, thus Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahane will be boarding the Johannesburg aircraft.