The BCCI selection committee has been condemned for picking Cheteshwar Pujara as vice-captain for the impending two-match test series against Bangladesh ahead of Rishabh Pant after KL Rahul was made the skipper instead of injured Rohit Sharma, who has been ruled out of the opening game in Chattogram. However, Rahul broke his silence on the “criteria” for choosing vice-captain hence he explained Pujara’s selection prior to Pant.
Pant was on the list of players along with Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul who would be groomed as future leaders of India under Rohit’s captaincy. Pujara wasn’t even on the radar and had in fact been dropped for the home series against Sri Lanka in March before making a comeback to the India XI for the one-off match in England where Pant came on as Bumrah’s substitute.
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BCCI’s decision on Sunday was criticized and called “ridiculous” by fans on Twitter who felt Pant was ahead of the order. However, Rahul clarified that such decisions do not change the responsibility a player has in the team before admitting that he too is not aware of the criteria for choosing the vice-captain.
“In any case, I don’t know what the criteria are, you give yourself a pat on the back who is selected. Even for me, when I was named the vice-captain, you become happy, you have the responsibility of the team. It really doesn’t change much, everyone knows their role and responsibility and how much the team values their contribution. Rishabh and Puji have both been brilliant to us and done the job so many times. Itna jada sochte nahin hai jo hai (We don’t think much), he tries to take responsibility. We will continue as a team,” he said in the pre-match press conference in Chattogram on Monday.
The Test series will commence from December 14, while the second Test will be played at Mirpur on December 22.
Meanwhile, Rohit was replaced by Abhimanyu Easwaran. And Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja, who are still recovering from their injuries, have been replaced by Saurabh Kumar and Navdeep Saini, Jaydev Unadkat has also been added to the squad.