The BCCI are expected to make some big decisions when they converge to select the squad for the tour of South Africa. Virat Kohli’s future as ODI captain and the fate of Ishant Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane are said to be among the key points on the agenda.
Chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma, Abey Kuruvilla and Sunil Joshi are slated to meet with BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah after the second Test against New Zealand.
The prospect of having two white-ball captains is deemed to make things complicated and many believe that it needs rectifying, keeping the 2023 ODI World Cup in mind.
“As of now, it looks difficult that Virat would be able to keep his ODI captaincy but since ODI isn’t important this year with very few matches here and there, one can think of delaying the decision,” a senior BCCI source told PTI.
“But the counter argument is that why do you want to have separate ideas for two formats and if majority of people in charge of making decision feel that Rohit is the man going forward and will get time to prepare a team for 2023 event,” he said.
The middle-order duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are under severe pressure over the lack of runs. The latter was not part of the second Test in Mumbai against New Zealand after picking up a minor hamstring strain. Despite their poor run of form, the duo are said to have retained their place in the squad for Rahul Dravid’s first overseas tour. However, Rahane will lose his vice-captaincy role to Rohit Sharma.
“Obviously, he is going to South Africa but had he not got injured, there was a high chance of him getting dropped from the eleven. So if he is not a sure-shot starter, how can he remain the deputy. If Rahane is removed from vice-captaincy, Rohit is the obvious choice. He was in fact vice-captain in Australia Test series in last two games,”
If the current injury concerns are not serious, Mayank Agarwal is seen as a serious candidate at the No.3 position. Ishant Sharma has looked bleak at best and with a pool of players like Prasidh Krishna and Avesh Khan on standby, there is a possibility that the veteran might not be selected. The trio of Mohammad Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammad Shami are deemed as the first choice pace attack in overseas conditions.
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