BCCI chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma says the team management looks at KL Rahul as someone who can lead India full-time in the future after Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. As part of their leadership succession plan, they have appointed Rahul as the captain for the upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa with Rohit Sharma ruled out as he continues recovery from a hamstring injury.
This will be the first time that Rahul will lead India across any formats. However, he has a rich experience of captaincy having led Punjab Kings in IPL.
During a media interaction on Saturday, Chetan said the selectors are grooming Rahul as captain for the future.
“Yes, definitely. We are looking at KL Rahul at present. He is a three-format player and he got a good experience of captaincy. Most importantly, he proved his leadership quality, that’s what all selectors think. As Rohit is not fit, we thought KL would be the best one who can handle this side. That’s why we have good confidence in KL and we’re grooming him,” Chetan said.
While they may be building a team for the future, the first target for the selectors is the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia to be played in the second half of 2022.
There are concerns over Rohit’s fitness and once 2023 ODI World Cup is over, Indian team will may have to prepare for another change in captaincy. However, Chetan said as selector, his only worry is preparing a team for the world cups.
“I know but if you talk about the five selectors, we are thinking about the T20 World Cup. We definitely are preparing for the ‘23 World Cup, but our first aim is the T20 World Cup this year. We can’t speculate on who will or will not be fit, it is not our place to do so," Chetan said.
“No one wants to be unfit. We cannot think beyond ’23 for now. Obviously, we are grooming KL Rahul. We brought Bumrah (as vice-captain) because he is an experienced guy, he can come in and learn. He is the vice-captain because our main captain is not fit. But the guys are going to learn and it will be good for Indian cricket,” he added.