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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Will West Indies Tour determine Rohit's captaincy fate?

Will West Indies Tour determine Rohit's captaincy fate?

Source: PTI
June 13, 2023 18:14 IST
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Rohit likely to lead in Caribbean but not certain to remain Test captain after Windies tour

Rohit Sharma

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma will lead Indian in the two-Test series in the West Indies. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images via Reuters

There is no imminent threat to Rohit Sharma's Test captaincy but the stylish Mumbaikar will need to rake up some significant numbers in West Indies to prevent a question mark over his leadership in the traditional format.

Rohit will lead Indian in the two-Test series in the West Indies and then perhaps sit with BCCI and decide on his future in traditional format.

If those privy to developments in the Indian team are to be believed, unless Rohit himself decides to stay away from two-Test series against West Indies starting in Dominica from July 12, he will be leading the team.

 

However the BCCI brass and the national selection committee will be under pressure to take a tough call if he fails to notch up at least one big knock either at Dominica or at Port of Spain during the second Test (July 20-24).

"These are baseless stuff that Rohit will be removed from captaincy. Yes, whether he will last the whole two-year WTC cycle is a big question as he would be nearly 38 when the third edition ends in 2025," a senior BCCI source in know of things told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

"As of now, I believe that Shiv Sunder Das and his colleagues will have to take a call after the two Tests and looking at his batting form."

In fact, the BCCI works very differently from other sporting organisations.

In Indian board, those in power believe that you don't take decisions when the criticism reaches crescendo.

"After West Indies, we have no Tests till December-end when the team travels to South Africa. So there is enough time for selectors to deliberate and take a decision. By then the fifth selector (new chairman) will also join the panel and a decision can be taken," he added.

Those who are aware about developments in Indian cricket know that once Virat Kohli quit Test captaincy after series defeat in South Africa, Rohit wasn't very keen to become the leader in longest format initially as he didn't know that whether his body would hold or not.

"The two top men at that time (former president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah) had to convince him to take up the role once KL Rahul failed to impress as a captain in South Africa," the source said.

Save a classy 120 against Australia on a challenging Nagpur track, Rohit hasn't exactly scored the kind of runs that is expected from a player of his calibre.

Since Rohit took over Test captaincy in 2022, India played 10 Tests and he missed three --- one in England due to COVID 19 and two in Bangladesh due to split webbing.

He scored 390 runs in 7 Tests and had an average of 35.45 in 11 completed innings with a single hundred and no other score above 50.

In that same phase, Virat Kohli played all 10 Tests, scoring 517 runs in 17 innings with 186 against Australia at Ahmedabad being his best.

Cheteshwar Pujara in the same phase played eight Tests and scored 482 runs in 14 innings with two unbeaten knocks at an average of 40.12. But one needs to factor, scores of 90 and 102 came against a weak Bangladesh attack.

The selectors know that in the next three years, all three big players on the wrong side of 35 can't constitute the top-order of India and hence tough calls will be required, looking at future. 

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