The BCCI has named an 18-member squad for the forthcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa, starting on January 19. India will miss their newly-appointed limited-overs captain Rohit Sharma due to a hamstring injury that also ruled him out of the ongoing Test series.
Opening batter KL Rahul, who was named Rohit Sharma’s deputy will lead the squad for the series. This didn’t go well with fans raising a few eyebrows that despite the presence of former limited-overs captain Virat Kohli, Rahul was handed the job. Speaking on the same, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt hailed the decision and explained the logic behind it.
The former opening batter explained that with Rohit replacing Kohli as a full-time white-ball captain last month, it was only logical looking at a bigger picture to make a decision for the future and select a leader, albeit as a stand-in option, who could lead the India team in the future.
“Virat Kohli will not lead this team any further. And, since he is no longer going to captain the team, they (the management) will pick the vice-captain as the stand-in skipper, who can lead the team in the future and has also captained in the IPL,” he said while replying to fan’s query on his YouTube channel.
Salman Butt pointed out that the Indian team, for a long time, has been following the same pattern of grooming youngsters for captaincy, something which started during MS Dhoni’s captaincy, when Kohli Suresh Raina and other youngsters were asked to lead the team against weaker opponents.
“This has been the pattern that Indian cricket has been following. Whenever there is a chance, they give youngsters the opportunity and hand him the responsibility to test him. So, I feel this is a good opportunity for KL Rahul. We saw this even during MS Dhoni’s time. Whenever India was up against smaller nations, he used to hand the captaincy to youngsters and the team used to win,” he added.
Jasprit Bumrah named India’s vice-captain for South Africa ODIs
Speedster Jasprit Burmah has been named Vice-captain of the team for the forthcoming ODI series for the first time. While Ruturaj Gaikwad who is in form of his life topping the Run charts in the Vijay Hazare trophy Scoring 603 Runs at an average of 150.75 including 4 centuries.
All-rounder Venkatesh Iyer has been hogging the headlines since IPL 2021. Has also been called up to the squad. With Hardik Pandya having injury concerns team management will look for Iyer to feel the void left by Hardik Pandya.
This is the first ODI series of Rahul Dravid as a full-time head coach. The series is important for Team India as they look to build a strong Squad for the 2023 World Cup in India.