Rohit Sharma is favourite to replace Virat Kohli as India's next Test captain. Photograph:( AFP )
Former India batter has named three strong contenders to take over as the new captain of the Indian Test team after Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli's shocking decision to leave India's Test captaincy has become the major talking point across the Indian cricket fraternity. Kohli announced his surprising decision on social media last week, confirming that his time as the captain of the Indian Test team had come to a halt and that he will not be leading the side anymore.
His announcement came a day after India's 2-1 defeat in the three-match series against South Africa. His decision to relinquish captaincy has led to an ever-rising debate over who should be India's new skipper in the longest format with several former cricketers and experts sharing their views.
Recently former India captain and batting legend Sunil Gavaskar backed Rishabh Pant as an ideal candidate to take over the top post. Former India opener and cricket expert Aakash Chopra has also given his take on the raging debate and picked three strong contenders who can replace Kohli as the leader of the Indian team in whites.
As per reports, limited-overs captain Rohit Sharma is likely to take over in all three formats and become India's new Test skipper. However, Chopra believes Rohit's recent injury issues raise serious questions about his fitness. Chopra suggested the Test captaincy burden might prove to be too much for the 34-year-old.
"Rohit Sharma seems to be the most obvious choice because he is the ODI and T20I captain at the moment and the last one year was a watershed event for him in Tests. But there are serious questions about his fitness because the hamstring is troubling him since 2020. In theory, it seems alright but will he be able to remain fit?," Chopra said in a video on his Youtube channel.
However, Chopra insisted he would still back Rohit to take over as the new Test captain while also naming KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant as the other two contenders for the top job. Rahul served as India's designated vice-captain in the Test series against South Africa and also led the team in the second Test against the Proteas in Johannesburg. Both Rahul and Pant have led their respective IPL teams as well.
"My vote is for Rohit Sharma as of now, short-term. Second is KL Rahul - you can go with him. Rishabh Pant is the third, it is a slightly left-field or out-of-the-box selection, you can also look towards him," Chopra said.
With India scheduled to play Sri Lanka in a Test series at home next month, the BCCI and selectors are expected to announce the new captain of the Indian Test team soon.