In-form batter KL Rahul, who is leading India in the ongoing first ODI against South Africa, has become only the third player to lead his country in 50 overs game without having captained in ‘List A’ cricket previously.
The other two India players, who achieved this rare feat are wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani and flamboyant opener Virender Sehwag.
Rahul was handed the captaincy for the three-match ODI series after newly-appointed skipper Rohit Sharma wasn’t fit for the series and the selectors had decided to move on from Virat Kohli, after he had resigned as the T20 captain.
KL Rahul, who hails from Karnataka, is also captaining India for the first time in his 39th ODI and the last time a player led the country before playing 50 ODIs was Mohinder Amarnath in October 1984.
It was ‘Jimmy’ Amarnath’s 35 ODI, when he captained the side.
South Africa has decided to bat first in the ongoing game and Madhya Pradesh allrounder Venkatesh Iyer will make his ODI debut.
Rahul paid rich tributes to Virat Kohli who last week stepped down from the Test captaincy as well. “Last couple of days and right after Tests there was a lot going on. Emotional for the team (Kohli stepping down). Lot of us have debuted under Virat. Obviously he’s still with us and integral part of the team,” he said at the toss.
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On the strategy for the ODI series, he said, “Just want to try out few things in terms of tactics and strategies. Personnel will not change much. Want to give them a good run. Experimentation doesn’t mean we’ll go in and start hitting from ball one.”