Team India is all set to tour SA. The first Test match is scheduled to start on 26 December after a week's delay . But, the selectors are yet to finalize the team that will be visiting Africa . Virat Kohli's ODI captaincy and Ishant Sharma's place in the test team are certain topics that will be discussed in the selection meeting.
Chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma, Abey Kuruvilla, and Sunil Joshi were in town to watch the Mumbai Test. And they will meet with president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah later this week. In order to make some decisions that could have far-reaching implications for Indian cricket. India is scheduled to play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) on the SA tour. The biggest question now is whether the country needs two white ball captains. It could lead to a clash of ideas. Not just the clash of ideas but it will also be difficult for the team to switch back and forth to adjust to two different captaincy styles.
With the blue riband 2023 50-over World Cup not far away. There are louder voices in the BCCI corridors calling for one white ball captain and that is Rohit. Speaking to PTI, a BCCI senior informs,“As of now, it looks difficult that Virat would be able to keep his ODI captaincy but since ODI isn't important this year with very few matches here and there, one can think of delaying the decision. But the counter-argument is that why do you want to have separate ideas for two formats and if the majority of people in charge of making decisions feel that Rohit is the man going forward and will get time to prepare a team for the 2023 event,” he says.
Rahane may lose his Test vice-captaincy
Pujara and Rahane may retain their position in the test team for the SA tour. But unfortunately for Rahane, his poor form may cost him his vice-captaincy if not the spot in the team. There are talks that either Rohit Sharma or KL Rahul will take over deputy duties. Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Hanuma Vihari are some of the middle-order choices to replace Rahane in the eleven.“Obviously, he is going to South Africa but had he not got injured. There was a high chance of him getting dropped from the eleven. So if he is not a sure-shot starter, how can he remain the deputy. If Rahane is removed from vice-captaincy, Rohit is the obvious choice. He was in fact vice-captain in the Australia Test series in the last two games,” the official said.
Who can replace Pujara at no 3?
While Pujara is expected to start the first Test if fit, the selectors may want to consider some backup No. 3 options in the long run. Mayank Agarwal is an obvious choice for no 3. Looking at his experience, composure, and performance overseas as well as home conditions. But, if Mayank's injury is of serious concern, Easwaran of Bengal has a hundred and fifty batting at No. 3, and Panchal, who has also batted at one drop at times, has a 96 and can be considered a back-up.
Siraj to replace Ishant Sharma?
Ishant Sharma has been off the boil since the England tour, and many believe that the veteran of 105 Tests (311 wickets) should now be given a break. Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami can't all be kept out in overseas conditions when they're all fit. Umesh Yadav had to sit out a lot of overseas Tests during the previous regime because he didn't fit in a four-pronged pace attack. If Ishant's form over the last few months is truly evaluated, he may not be selected. But one never knows what permutations and combinations are at work.
Ajinkya Rahane Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli
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