'Gautam should not feel that he has been left out'
Former captain Rahul Dravid says Virat Kohli's elevation as vice-captain of the Indian team for the Asia Cup is a great step for the future, but the youngster has a long way to go before he establishes himself in the squad.
"Virat has had a great tour of Australia; he has done incredibly well. He has been doing well in the ODI competition too. Obviously, his elevation has been seen as a reward for what he has done recently. But Virat will be the first to recognise that it is a long way to go for him and he has to first establish himself. It is very important to go another step further," said Dravid in Mumbai on Monday, as Rajasthan Royals launched their new jersey for the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League.
He also said senior player Gautam Gambhir, who was vice-captain before and also captained India in the past, should not feel discouraged by Kohli's promotion.
"As we have seen in the past that just being the vice-captain does not necessarily mean you will be the next captain. So, while I think it is a good recognition of his form, people like Gautam should not feel that they have been left out, because when the time comes we have seen that they might opt for another option. But, at the moment, [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni is doing a good job and we don't need to look at anybody else," Dravid added.
Image: Rahul Dravid (left) with Shilpa Shetty
'Definitely, we will miss Shane Warne'
Dravid, who will lead Rajasthan Royals in the IPL beginning April 4, said the squad will miss the services of their former captain, Shane Warne.
Under Warne's captaincy, Rajasthan won the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008. The Australian spin legend announced his retirement from all forms of cricket last year, but returned in December to take part in the Australian Big Bash League, where he played for Melbourne Stars.
Dravid said Warne's influence will be missed in the upcoming season.
"Definitely, we will miss him. He is such a great cricketer and I enjoyed playing with Warnie. I learnt a lot from him. It was a great experience for me to play with him last year. A lot of stuff that he did we will continue this year, but, obviously, the team has changed, so we can't continue the strategy.
"So we will have to look at what our strengths and weakness are this year and react accordingly."
The 39-year-old right-hander, who stepped down as India captain in 2007, said leading Rajasthan Royals will be a new challenge.
"I am looking forward to it. It is obviously a totally different scenario and a totally different team. It is a combination of domestic players and some international players. I am looking forward it. I believe it is a good challenge. I really enjoyed last year at Rajasthan Royals and I enjoyed working with the franchise and players," he added.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan Royals co-owner Shilpa Shetty revealed the secret behind the colourful jersey to be used in training.
"We have kept the practice kit colourful because that was our ode to Jaipur, the pink city," said the Bollywood actress.