With Virat Kohli unexpectedly stepping down as India’s Test cricket captain, fans and experts around the world have been left guessing his successor. Former chairman of India’s selection committee Dilip Vengsarkar shared his opinion on who should take over the Test mantle from Kohli. Speaking to Gulf News, Vengsarkar gave his backing to Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin and stated that the BCCI should go for a stop-gap arrangement for a year or so and meanwhile try to groom a future captain. “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.
The 65-year-old also opened up on the dilemma faced by his selection committee when Rahul Dravid stepped down from India captaincy.
“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.
Vengsarkar also felt that captaincy did not affect Kohli’s batting. He pointed out that Indians are “often obsessed with statistics” which leads to unnecessary criticism of the batter.
“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.
Despite a fighting innings in the series-decider in Cape Town, Kohli still couldn’t prevent India from losing the three-match Test series vs South Africa. Vengsarkar praised his resilient batting during the series and labeled his commitment and intent as “fantastic”.
“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.
Team India will now take on South Africa in an upcoming ODI series, starting from Wednesday. All eyes will be on Kohli, who will be playing under stand-in skipper KL Rahul.
Kohli had also stepped down from India’s T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup and soon lost the ODI mantle to Rohit. The BCCI announced Rohit as the full-time white-ball skipper in December last year.
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