India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has been going through tough times in his career lately. He has faced severe criticism for his inconsistency at the International level.
The right-handed batsman has over the last few years played several match-winning knocks for India in test matches. He was also the leading run-scorer for India in the ICC World Test Championship 2019-2021 cycle. However, his inconsistent run has always hampered his overall stats in International cricket.
This year, Ajinkya Rahane averages 19.21 in 14 test innings. Apart from being the veteran batsman, Rahane has the added responsibility of being the vice-captain of the Indian team. With his place not secured in the team, India will be looking at the other options they have in the side.
In this article, we will take a look at the potential vice-captaincy candidates for the Indian test team.
1. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is the most successful captain, in terms of winning the championship in the history of the Indian Premier League. Under his leadership, the Mumbai Indians have won five championship titles.
Rohit Sharma is also the vice-captain of the Indian limited-overs team. In the absence of Virat Kohli, when Ajinkya Rahane led the Indian team to a historic victory in Australia earlier this year, Rohit Sharma took over the vice-captaincy charge.
The opener is also in great form in Test cricket over the last couple of years. In the World Test Championship 2019-2021 cycle, Rohit Sharma was the second-highest run-getter for India. This year, he has scored 669 runs at an average of 47.78 in 16 test innings. Rohit Sharma will be an ideal vice-captaincy replacement for Ajinkya Rahane in test matches.
2. Rishabh Pant
India’s wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has made significant improvement in Test cricket over the last year. He has scored 622 runs in nine matches at an average of 51.83 in Test cricket this year. His tally includes one century and four fifties.
Rishabh Pant also has captaincy experience under his belt. In the absence of Shreyas Iyer, Pant led the Delhi Capitals team in the Indian Premier League 2021 season. Under his leadership, Delhi Capitals have won five out of their eight matches.
Given his form and age, Rishabh Pant is a suitable prospect for taking up the vice-captaincy of the Indian test team.
3. Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin is considered to be one of the smartest cricketing brains. He has the experience of leading the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League and the Tamil Nadu cricket team in the domestic circuit. In fact, Ashwin led Tamil Nadu to the 2009 Vijay Hazare Trophy championship.
Ashwin is the highest-ranked spinner in world cricket at the moment. He has been a match-winner for India in test matches. In the World Test Championship 2019-21, Ashwin was the leading wicket-taker with 71 test wickets.
The offspinner, though, is not part of India’s playing XI in the ongoing test matches against England, he is one of the front runners to get the vice-captaincy job.