With Virat Kohli unexpectedly stepping down as India’s Test cricket captain, fans and pundits around the world are guessing at his successor. Former Indian selection committee chairman Dilip Vengsarkar shared his views on who should take over Kohli’s test mantle. Speaking to Gulf News, Vengsarkar expressed his support for Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin, stating that the BCCI would have to make emergency arrangements for a year or so while trying to provide a future captain. “If you ask me, it might be a practical idea to make a temporary agreement with Rohit Sharma or even Ravi Ashwin for a year or so and take care of someone in the meantime,” said the former Indian cricketer.
The 65-year-old also began dealing with the dilemma his selection committee faced when Rahul Dravid stepped down as India captain.
“Interestingly, my committee was faced with a similar situation when Rahul Dravid stepped down as captain and we had a demanding tour of Australia just around the corner. Some felt that MS Dhoni, who led the shorter format, should be promoted but we continued with Anil Kumble who did a fantastic job,” he said.
Vengsarkar also felt that captaincy did not affect Kohli’s percussion. He pointed out that Indians are “often obsessed with statistics”, leading to unnecessary criticism of the herd.
“I disagree with this as I feel Kohli has had a dream career as a batsman and captain for almost five years. Despite all the talk about his current lean stage, I feel that Indians are often obsessed with statistics and that’s something I don’t believe in,” he said.
Despite a series-decider brawl in Cape Town, Kohli still couldn’t prevent India from losing the three-match Test series vs South Africa. Vengsarkar praised his resilient batting throughout the series, labeling his commitment and intention as “superb”.
“Yes, it’s true he hasn’t had a century in recent years, but the way he adapted, adapted to the movement and bounced the ball on the South African wickets was exemplary. At Newlands he held onto himself back and built the innings after the fall of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to score 79 from 160 balls – every run continued on those wickets. His commitment and intention were fantastic,” he added.
Team India will now face South Africa in an upcoming ODI series, starting Wednesday. All eyes are on Kohli, who will play under stand-in skipper KL Rahul.
Kohli had also stepped down as the captain of the T20I in India after the T20 World Cup and soon lost the ODI mantle to Rohit. The BCCI announced Rohit as the full-time whiteball skipper last December.
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