In a major development that has come across, K L Rahul has been appointed as the vice-captain of the test team for the South African tour. Rohit Sharma is not available for the test series due to his hamstring injury in his left leg. The right-hander did not take part in the New Zealand test series at home in order to take a rest. According to a senior BCCI official, “K L Rahul is all set to become Indian team’s vice-captain for the three-Test series against South Africa, starting December 26”. There are also reports though that Rohit Sharma is likely to be available for the ODI series. Rohit Sharma is the new ODI captain and this will be his first ODI series as a permanent leader if he becomes fully fit.
K L Rahul has been involved in a captaincy stint for Punjab Kings. The 29-year-old currently has scored 2321 runs in the 40 test matches at an average of 35.17 and 6 hundred. Ajinkya Rahane was axed as the vice-test captain on 8th of December owing to his poor run in tests for nearly two years. Critics believe that the South African tour is the last chance for the likes of Pujara and Rahane to stay in the test side.
Available for both test and ODI series : Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli in his 15th December press conference clarified that he was and is available for the South African ODI series and that the speculations about him asking for leaves is totally wrong. India is slated to play the test series from 26th December while the ODI series will start from the 19th of December.
Kohli’s statement has contradicted the BCCI chief’s where Ganguly stated that he personally requested Kohli to not give up the T20 captaincy. Ganguly told that the selectors were not in favor of split-captaincy in the white-ball format which is why Sharma was appointed the captaincy. However, there were earlier reports of Sharma wanting to accept the T20 captaincy only on the condition of captaining the ODI side also.
K L Rahul to be vice test captain in the ODI also?
There is a strong likelihood that K L Rahul will be given the permanent deputy role of Rohit Sharma in the ODIs too. In the aftermath of Virat Kohli’s axing from the captain, it is unlikely that selectors will appoint Kohli in the vice-captaincy role for the ODI and T20 formats.