The sudden retirement of Mahendra Singh Dhoni from Test cricket has raised the question of who will be Virat Kohli's deputy.
The answer is probably Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin.
"It will be interesting to see the choice of the selection committee led by Sandeep Patil and the feedback that they get from Team Director Ravi Shastri. Ravi's point of view will be key in this regard. As of now, the two players who are in with a chance are Rahane and Ashwin," a BCCI source in the know of things told PTI today.
According to the sources Rahane, who is now a permanent fixture across all three formats looks to be a front-runner but Ashwin by virtue of his seniority cannot be ruled out altogether.
"What works for Rahane is his calm demeanour which could possibly complement Kohli's aggressive intent. They could prove to be ideal foil for each other. Also Rahane has the performance to merit that place (1026 runs in 13 Tests with 3 centuries)," the official said.
While 28-year-old Ashwin is senior in terms of number of Test matches (23 Tests, 114 wickets, 956 runs), there have been times when he has not found a place in the playing XI in Test matches in overseas conditions.
India's next overseas assignment will be a Test series in Bangladesh, post IPL and before that there is only tri-series and ICC World Cup where Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be leading the side.
As per BCCI functioning, there is no official vice-captain when India play a home series. More than a rule, it's a convention but there is always a designated vice-captain when they are on overseas tours.
During the ongoing tour of Australia, there was one warm-up game where Ishant Sharma led the team for a session as Virat Kohli and a few others were taking rest having attended Phillip Hughes's funeral in Sydney.
Image: Ajinkya Rahane celebrates after completing his century
Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images