Should India groom Jasprit Bumrah as their next long-term captain? Photograph:( AFP )
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has backed Jasprit Bumrah to become the next captain of the Indian team after the Virat Kohli captaincy saga.
Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has urged India to look at grooming premier fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah as their next long-term captain after the Virat Kohli captaincy saga. Kohli, who stepped down as the Test captain of the Indian team last week, is no more leading the team across all three formats and will continue playing only as a pure batter.
Rohit Sharma is currently India's designated white-ball captain while the selectors are yet to take a call on who should lead the team in Tests after Kohli's exit. While Rohit remains the favourite to take charge in the longest format as well, there are a number of other contenders for the top job with the likes of KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant in the fray.
While lamenting the general notion to pick batters as the captain of international teams, Akhtar suggested fast bowlers too can be great captains. The former Pakistan pacer, who holds the record for bowling the fastest delivery in international cricket, suggested Bumrah can be groomed as a leader and should be made vice-captain for now with Rohit already in charge in limited-overs formats.
"Why don't you look at fast bowlers as captain. Kapil Dev was a fast bowler, wasn't he a great captain? I don't know why there is this notion that batsmen are more clever than us. For Pakistan, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis have all been captains," Akhtar was quoted as saying in an interview with Sports Today.
"A fast bowler always goes for a win. I am not saying that the batters don't but it is a little different. Jasprit Bumrah should be made the vice-captain and groomed for captaincy. Groom fast bowlers and all-rounders. This trend of thinking that only batters can be captain is wrong," he added.
Bumrah was recently asked about potentially leading the Indian Test team after Kohli's resignation. The fast bowler, who is a vital cog of the team across all formats, had said it will be an honour for him to captain the national side and that he is ready to give his best.
"If given opportunity it's an honour, but if not then also I will try to do whatever is required to the best of my ability. My focus is to do well," said Bumrah.