Virat Kohli’s announcement giving up the Test captaincy came as a shock to the cricketing world. It was evident that Kohli wasn’t having the time of his life in these past few months, having recently been sacked as the ODI skipper, but his position as the captain in the longest format was undisputed.
When MS Dhoni retired out of the blue, there wasn’t too much of a discussion about his successor since Kohli had been groomed for the longest time and was the obvious choice. In stark contrast, there is no heir apparent this time around. There is no young player coming up the ranks this time around who has managed to comprehensively cement his position in the team.
Former chairman of the Indian team’s selection committee, Dilip Vengsarkar, talking to Gulf News backed Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin as the potential candidates to take over the captaincy for a year or so, allowing a stop-gap arrangement that would coincide with grooming a future captain to eventually take over the captaincy.
“If you ask me, it may be a practical idea to have a stop-gap arrangement with Rohit Sharma or even Ravi Ashwin for a year or so and groom someone in the meanwhile”, said the former India cricketer.
Dilip Vengsarkar stated that he could relate to the selection dilemma since he faced something similar during his time in the selection committee.
“Interestingly, my committee was faced with a similar situation when Rahul Dravid stepped down from captaincy and we had a demanding Australia tour round the corner. Some felt that MS Dhoni, who was leading in the shorter format, be promoted but we went ahead with Anil Kumble who did a fantastic job”, he said.
He also feels that captaincy did not affect Kohli’s batting. He has been captain for the longest time and most of his success as a batsman has come under his own leadership.
“I don’t agree with this for I feel that Kohli has had a dream run for nearly five years as a batsman and captain. For all the talk about his current lean phase, I feel that Indians are often obsessed with statistics and that’s something that I don’t believe in”, he said.
Dilip Vengsarkar showers praise on Virat Kohli
Even though India lost the recently concluded Test series against South Africa, Dilip Vengsarkar had high praise for Kohli. He was impressed with Kohli’s resilient batting and the intent that was on display.
“Yes, it’s true that he hasn’t got a century over the last few years but the way he applied himself, adapted to the movement and bounce of the ball on the South African wickets was exemplary. At Newlands, the way he held himself back and built the innings after the fall of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to score 79 off 160-odd balls – every run continued on those wickets. His commitment and intent was fantastic”, he further added.
Get the latest cricket news here and like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more such updates.