India skipper Virat Kohli might have won his alleged battle of showing Anil Kumble the exit door from the dressing room but there is no denying the fact that it has put him firmly under the spotlight. And why not? After all, the team had enjoyed a very fruitful season under Kumble.
During the former India skipper’s spell, India reached the pinnacle of Test cricket with the series win against West Indies, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh and Australia. Kumble also guided Team India to the final of the recently-concluded Champions Trophy in addition to limited-series win over New Zealand and England.
However, Kumble’s stint with Virat Kohli & Co. ended on a bitter note with India’s highest Test wicket-taker stepping down from his post after being informed of the captain as well as some other players’ displeasure over his style of functioning. And with Kohli deciding to not reveal his side of the story in order to maintain the sanctity of the dressing room, a lot of eyebrows have been raised with many believing that the India batting star played a big role in Kumble’s acrimonious departure.
Moreover, reports are suggesting that Kohli is under immense pressure to deliver as the captain. Last month, a top BCCI official had said that the India captain would have to ensure that the team delivers under him, else, he too would have to face the music.
“It has been given to understand that Kohli eventually had the veto power on the coach issue which pushed Kumble out of the team. Now that he has his way, he has to deliver as captain. Otherwise, he had it,” the official had told TOI.
As of now, everything is fine with the Men in Blue leading the ongoing five-match series against West Indies by 2-1 with one more match to go. But in case, if the results do not go in favour of Kohli, there are rumours that he can face dire consequences and so we are taking a look at two possible candidates who can replace him as the captain of the ODI team.
2. Ajinkya Rahane:
One of India’s batting mainstays in Test format, the Mumbai-born batsman is finally looking at ease in the 50-overs format. After being benched throughout the Champions Trophy, Rahane has grabbed the opportunity of opening the innings in the ongoing series, having to score three half-centuries and a century in the first four games.
Moreover, Rahane has already proved his worth as a skipper by leading India to a thumping win over Australia in the final Border-Gavaskar series earlier this year. His tactics and game-plan drew praise from one and all and he can be a suitable candidate for India’s ODI captain.
1. Rohit Sharma:
Arguably, the best candidate if the BCCI looks to appoint a new skipper. Rohit Sharma has become one of India’s most dependable players in the limited-overs format and his performance in the Champions Trophy totally proves it. After making a comeback into the national team following a gap of six months, the right-handed batsman hit the ground running, as he finished the tournament as its second highest run-scorer.
His captaincy record is equally impressive. The 30-year-old, this year, became the first captain to win three Indian Premier League titles after leading Mumbai Indians to their third title in five years.