Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli[photo: Twitter]

Graeme Swann, ex-England spinner said ex-India skipper Virat Kohli leading the side again is something newly appointed England captain Ben Stokes will like.

Seeing the importance of the game, many have suggested ex-skipper Virat Kohli’s name to lead the side. It is worth remembering that Virat Kohli led the team in the first four matches of the series last year.

Graeme Swann © Getty Images
Graeme Swann © Getty Images

Graeme Swann: Ben Stokes Would Quite Like Virat Kohli To Be Captain

India’s preparation for the historic one-off Test against England at Edgbaston has taken a major blow with skipper Rohit Sharma testing positive for COVID-19. With Rohit Sharma’s participation in doubt, there is no clarity on who will lead India. India’s vice-captain KL Rahul is also missing from action due to an injury.

“You could say why not let Virat Kohli finish off the things he started and sort of have a final hoorah. Whether Virat would want to do that, I don’t know. I don’t think England will really mind. Maybe, if you think about Ben Stokes… He would quite like Virat Kohli to be captain then he could directly compare to how Joe Root’s team played against Virat Kohli’s,” Swann was quoted saying.

Ex-England spinner Graeme Swann claimed Ben Stokes will like the prospect of Virat Kohli leading India in Birmingham |Courtesy-IANS/AP
Ex-England spinner Graeme Swann claimed Ben Stokes will like the prospect of Virat Kohli leading India in Birmingham |Courtesy-IANS/AP

Virat Kohli is so far the most successful Test captain India has ever had. Under his captaincy, India played a total of 68 Test matches of which the side won 40, drew 11, and lost 17 games.

Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, however, have completely transformed the England side in just one series against New Zealand where they completed a 3-0 whitewash. England became the first team to chase over 250 three times in a series, chasing 277 at Lord’s, 299 at Trent Bridge, and 296 at Headingley. Before the series against New Zealand, they had managed to win just one of their 17 matches.

Graeme Swann Hopeful That Rohit Sharma Would Recover And Play The Rescheduled 5th Test

Giving the example of some New Zealand players who tested positive for COVID-19, Graeme Swann was hopeful that Rohit Sharma will able to take the field in Birmingham.

“We saw a lot of the New Zealand players getting Covid but they recovered really quickly so I’m hoping Rohit would do the same and lead India,” said Swann.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: Twitter

In order to ensure the team has enough options, Mayank Agarwal has been called up to the squad. Earlier on Monday (June 27), Mayank Agarwal posted an image on his social media account showing him taking a flight to England where he will join the team in Birmingham. However, a big concern remains on who will captain India for this match. With KL Rahul missing, there is no clarity on who Rohit Sharma’s deputy.

While Jasprit Bumrah was the vice-captain for the series against Sri Lanka and led the team on the final day of the warm-up game against Leicestershire, there is no confirmation of the same. An added concern is that Jasprit Bumrah does not have any captaincy experience.

India would be desperate to have Rohit Sharma fit for the clash. He was one of India’s star performers during the first four Tests last year. In 4 Tests, he had smashed 368 runs at an average of 52.27 including a hundred at The Oval. The upcoming Test would be also his first overseas Test as a skipper.

Rohit Sharma will have a chance to lead India to a memorable series win in England. The visitors are leading the series 2-1 and need just a draw in the upcoming clash to clinch a first Test series win in England since 2007.