Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli Photograph:( AFP )
Former India captain and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar has backed Rohit Sharma to replace Virat Kohli as India's next T20I captain. He also named two potential candidates who can become the team's vice-captain.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli is all set to step down as the T20 captain of the Men in Blue post the conclusion of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE this year. Kohli had announced his decision to step down as T20 captain ahead of the start of the ongoing second leg of IPL 2021 in UAE. He will be also stepping down as the captain of his IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore after the end of the current season.
Kohli was appointed India's captain across all three formats in 2017, taking over from former captain MS Dhoni. Under him, India have won some memorable series both at home and overseas and also made it to the semi-final of the 2019 ODI World Cup, and the final of the World Test Championship earlier this year. However, India are yet to win a major ICC trophy under Kohli.
With back-to-back T20 World Cups set to be staged in 2021 and 2022, Kohli has decided to continue as a pure batsman in the shortest format while leading the team in ODIs and Tests. BCCI is yet to announce India's next T20I captain with Rohit Sharma likely to take over from Kohli.
Legendary batsman and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has picked Rohit Sharma as the ideal replacement for Kohli while naming KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant as potential candidates to become the Indian team's next vice-captain in T20Is. Rohit is currently India's vice-captain in T20Is and ODIs.
"Definitely, Rohit Sharma for the next World Cup. With World Cups back-to-back, you don't want too many changes in captaincy. I am looking at KL Rahul as the vice-captain of the Indian team. I would also keep Rishabh Pant in mind," Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
Both Rahul and Pant are leading their respective franchises in the ongoing IPL 2021. While Rahul is the skipper of Punjab Kings, Pant has been leading Delhi Capitals, who currently sit on the second spot on the points table with 16 points from ten matches.