Sunil Gavaskar Criticizes Decision To Appoint Ajinkya Rahane As Test Vice-Captain, Picks 3 Indian Player For Future Test Captain
Sunil Gavaskar, the eminent cricket pundit, shares his verdict on the decision to reinstate Ajinkya Rahane as the vice-captain.
One year ago, Ajinkya Rahane seemed a distant prospect for reclaiming his place in the Indian Test squad. After being dropped from the team prior to the home series against Sri Lanka last year, Rahane endured a period of obscurity. However, he orchestrated a remarkable resurgence in the IPL 2023, earning himself a triumphant return to the Indian team for the WTC final. In the first innings, he displayed his mettle by emerging as India's leading run-scorer, crafting a valiant 89.
NEWS - India's squads for West Indies Tests and ODI series announced.
TEST Squad: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ajinkya Rahane (VC), KS Bharat (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), R Ashwin, R Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Mohd._ pic.twitter.com/w6IzLEhy63— BCCI (@BCCI) June 23, 2023
This astonishing resurgence not only earned him a consecutive opportunity, but also saw him reclaim the esteemed position of vice-captaincy for the West Indies tour. Sunil Gavaskar, the eminent cricket pundit, shares his verdict on the decision to reinstate Ajinkya Rahane as the vice-captain. Back in December 2021, Rahane was stripped of his vice-captaincy title in anticipation of the South Africa tour, with Rohit Sharma assuming the role as Virat Kohli's deputy. Subsequently, when Kohli relinquished his captaincy after the conclusion of the Test series, Rohit became the skipper across all formats. However, the position of vice-captain had yet to be finalized for Team India.
And even though the idea behind Rohit being made the skipper in Test was to groom a young option under him, the plan failed eventually as KL Rahul's form deteriorated, and he failed to become a consistent member of the side, Jasprit Bumrah was out with a back injury, and Rishabh Pant incurred a fatal car accident. A year and a half later, India, still in search for the next captain after Rohit, went back to Rahane as Test vice-captain for the two-match series in West Indies, a move Gavaskar criticized in his interview with Sports Today. Disappointed at the BCCI selectors, he felt the move was a failed opportunity as providing a youngster with the opportunity to grow into the leadership role.
“There is nothing wrong in having him [Ajinkya Rahane] as the vice-captain, but a missed opportunity to groom a young player. At least, tell a young player that we are looking at you as a future captain. So, he starts to think as a future leader,” Gavaskar said. But who next after Rohit Sharma? Gavaskar picked not one but three names, all unusual though, as the successor to Rohit in Test cricket.
“One is Shubman Gill and the other is Axar Patel [as future captains] because Axar comes in leaps and bounds, he just gets better every match. Giving him the responsibility as vice-captain will make them think. So, these are the two candidates in my view," Gavaskar said. "If there are others, somebody like Ishan Kishan, once he cements his place in the team. He can come in the reckoning as well."