Team India no longer has a choice to act aggressively against the Bangladesh Test Series as the final of the World Test Championship is on the line. The Men in Blue are currently damaged by numerous injuries as three key players – Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and captain Rohit Sharma have been ruled out of the series. In addition, India will need to win their next six Test matches, including the two against Bangladesh and four at home against Australia, to remain in the top two of the WTC points table. In the absence of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul has been given the duty to lead India. Interestingly, Cheteshwar Pujara was appointed as vice-captain for Rishabh Pant for the Bangladesh series. The decision that Pant will be disqualified for Pujara as vice-captain has raised some eyebrows and replacement skipper Rahul also said he does not know the ‘criteria’ behind that decision.
“As for vice-captain, at least I don’t know what the criteria are. Whoever gets picked, you pat yourself on the back. It really doesn’t change too many things, everyone on the team knows their role and responsibilities.”, said Rahul. (Watch: Shreyas Iyer nets leg spin to Virat Kohli)
However, Rahul would not discriminate between who could have been a better deputy.
“Rishabh and Pujara have both been brilliant for us in Test cricket and done the job so many times. So we really don’t think much. The team wins as eleven players and when we go down we go down as the whole team. Everyone has responsibility.”
The previous national selection committee had appointed Cheteshwar Pujara as the vice-captain for the Bangladesh series, while chairman Chetan Sharma had said that Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah are being groomed as future leaders along with Rahul. Pujara is on the verge of holding on to his place in the Test team and being vice-captain will be an absolute boost. Pujara was also named vice-captain for one test match during the 2020-2021 historic tour of Australia. When Rahul was asked about the vice-captain, he sidestepped the issue. (with PTI inputs)