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'Rohit Sharma Should Lead India Across All Formats': Former India Opener Wants One Captain to Ensure Consistency

Will Rohit Sharma also be named India Test captain? (BCCI Photo)

Will Rohit Sharma also be named India Test captain? (BCCI Photo)

While it's anybody's guess who BCCI will appoint as the next India Test captain, Rohit Sharma has found a backer in Gautam Gambhir.

Virat Kohli’s stunning announcement on Saturday sent shock-waves across Indian cricket fraternity. In a major development, Kohli relinquished the Test captaincy with immediate effect and thus drawing curtains on his leadership era for the Indian cricket team having already stepped away from the role in white-ball set-up.

While some were surprised, others felt that it was on the cards. Now, the big question on everyone’s mind is: Who after Kohli in Tests?

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Rohit Sharma was last December elevated to Test vice-captaincy, replacing Ajinkya Rahane. With the top-job up for grabs, Rohit now seems to be the most likely candidate to succeed Kohli in red-ball cricket too with KL Rahul also presenting a solid option.

However, for Gautam Gambhir, the choice is clear.

“In my book Rohit Sharma should lead India across all formats with Rahul as his deputy,” Gambhir wrote in his column for The Times of India. “One captain across formats will ensure consistency in style and approach of the Indian team especially considering that we have another T20 World Cup later this year.”

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Gambhir feels that Kohli has left the Indian Test team in ‘good health’ but cannot say the same for white-ball cricket.

“Between the last Test and ODI series, the news space has been hogged by Virat resigning from Test captaincy. I think it is an individual’s call and that is how it should be treated. I think Virat left the Indian Test team is good health but I can’t say the same about white-ball cricket,” Gambhir wrote.

He continued, “Our bowling resources in Test matches are a neighbour’s envy and owner’s pride. They have showed time and again that they are the engine room for a team’s performance.  In limited overs cricket, I’d have liked to see a more settled middle-order, which Virat could not create.”

In the three-match ODI series against South Africa, India will be led by Rahul in the absence of injured Rohit while Jasprit Bumrah will be the vice-captain.

The series also presents Shikhar Dhawan with a chance to seal his comeback failing which could close the doors on his India career.

“It is a grand opportunity for him (Dhawan) in South Africa. I am not a great believer in age and all that. His critics are saying that at 36, Indian cricket should look beyond Shikhar. My worry is lack of runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. I hope he can put it all behind him and put his best foot forward,” Gambhir said.

He also said that Dhawan isn’t in South Africa as a tourist and should be part of the India eleven. “There is a school of thought that Shikhar should not be played in the final eleven. I think that will be a disaster. Why would you take Shikhar to South Africa and then leave him on the bench? It will make no sense at all,” he said.

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first published:January 19, 2022, 12:30 IST