Not Rohit or Rahul! Sunil Gavaskar names player who should replace Virat Kohli as India's next Test captain

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jan 16, 2022, 02:33 PM(IST)

Sunil Gavaskar named player who can take over from Virat Kohli as India's new Test captain. Photograph:( AFP )

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Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar named an Indian player who should take over as India's new Test captain after Virat Kohli's resignation.

Virat Kohli's shocking decision to leave India's Test captaincy has become one of the major talking points in world cricket. Kohli announced his decision on social media on Saturday (January 15) following India's 2-1 defeat in the recently-concluded three-match Test series against South Africa.

Former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has named an Indian batter who he feels can replace Kohli as the next skipper of the Indian Test team. Gavaskar snubbed both KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, who are among strong contenders to replace Kohli as the new Test skipper and backed Rishabh Pant to be handed over the baton.

Gavaskar, who had earlier backed KL Rahul to be the vice-captain in the longest format, feels selectors will have to engage in a long debate on whom to appoint as the next Test skipper of the side. The batting legend feels Pant can be an ideal candidate for captaincy considering he is a regular across all formats and has the leadership qualities.

"It's going to be quite a debate as far as the selection committee is concerned as to who should be taking Indian cricket forward. First of all, it should be someone who is an automatic pick across all formats of the game. Once that happens, it will be a lot easier. If you ask me, I am still staying, I would look at Rishabh Pant as the next India captain,” Gavaskar said on India Today.

Pant has been a consistent performer for India in Tests over the last few years and has scored runs in all sorts of conditions. After being criticised for throwing away his wicket in the second innings of the second Test against South Africa, Pant silenced his critics with a stunning unbeaten century in the recently-concluded third Test. He scored an unbeaten 100 off 139 balls, however, his efforts went in vain as South Africa won the decider by seven wickets to take the series 2-1.

Also Read: 'Shocked': Rohit Sharma reacts to Virat Kohli's surprise decision to quit India's Test captaincy

Pant has been backed by many as a future superstar of the Indian team but has been often criticised for throwing his wicket away with careless batting at crucial junctures. However, Gavaskar believes the added responsibility of captaining the side can help inspire a change in his approach.

"For one reason only, just like Rohit Sharma was given the captaincy of Mumbai Indians when Ricky Ponting stepped down, look at the change in his batting after that. Suddenly the responsibility of being captain made him convert those beautiful cameos of 30s, 40s and 50s into hundreds, 150s and 200s. I think that sense of responsibility given to Rishabh Pant will help him score many more of that wonderful hundred he scored at Newlands," Gavaskar explained.

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