IND v NZ 2021: BCCI in dilemma over Test captaincy between Rohit and Rahane in Kohli’s absence, says report

Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane | Getty

After their underwhelming T20 World Cup 2021 campaign, Team India’s focus now shifts to the home series against New Zealand, comprising three T20Is and two Tests.

The series, slated to be held from November 17 to December 7, will also mark some noteworthy changes in Indian cricket.

With Virat Kohli quitting his position as T20I captain, Rohit Sharma has been named the skipper of India’s T20 squad and the selection committee is reportedly contemplating the decision to make the latter a vice-captain in the longest format.

According to a TOI report, the selectors are undecided over the vice-captaincy in the Test team. While some of them want Rohit to be given the role of Kohli’s deputy in Test cricket, others in are favour of continuing with Ajinkya Rahane as vice-captain.

As per the report, Kohli, who doesn’t feature in the T20I squad for New Zealand series, is likely to be rested for the opening Test in Kanpur as well. He will resume his duties from the second Test in Mumbai which will be followed by a full-fledged tour of South Africa.

In Kohli’s absence, either Rohit or Rahane will lead the side in the Test series opener. It remains to be seen whether the Chetan Sharma-led selection panel will go with Rahane being the regular member of the longest format or incline towards Rohit, who is having a fantastic time in Test cricket of late.

One of the biggest concerns over Rahane is his batting form lately. His Test average has dropped below 40 in recent times and he hardly managed to put in a noteworthy performance during the recently held England tour.

On the other hand, Rohit has recently established himself as one of the leading openers in Tests. He played some classy knocks in tough conditions against England to ensure India’s 2-1 lead in the five-Test series, which ended prematurely due to COVID-19 scare in the visiting camp.

The report in TOI further suggests that the selectors aren’t keen on replacing Rahane as the Test vice-captain currently but the situation has forced them to think about a change.