What’s the story?
Indian opener Rohit Sharma is likely to be named the vice-captain of the national team for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy in England. A source within the BCCI revealed to the Deccan Chronicle that although no one has officially been appointed as Virat Kohli’s deputy, they are of the firm belief that Rohit will fulfil the role in an unofficial capacity.
"The selectors have not announced the name of the vice-captain. However, among themselves, they have already chosen one, but will be announced only if required in an emergency," the source was quoted saying.
In case you didn’t know…
After much deliberation, the board had named the squad for the ICC tournament, well past the deadline, with Kohli as the captain. However, no one was named as the vice-captain and the general consensus was that one of Ajinkya Rahane or Ravichandran Ashwin would fulfil the role.
The heart of the matter
Following the resounding success of the Mumbai Indians under Rohit in the recently concluded IPL, there were demands to make the star batsman the captain of the T20 team. The 30-year-old had humbly responded that he didn’t want to get too far ahead of himself. However, he also added that if the opportunity arose, he would definitely take it with both hands.
Captaincy is a far cry at the moment but Rohit could definitely be bestowed with vice-captaincy duties. The report also added that it was a norm to pick a few players to be on stand-by, only this time, the names were officially announced.
"They always pick the reserve bunch but the names are not announced. This time the BCCI directed them to announce the names," the source said.
The ICC Champions Trophy will begin on 1 June 2017. India will begin their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on 4 June 2017. Chief selector MSK Prasad and Devang Gandhi will travel to England with the team while Sarandeep Singh will stay back in the country.
Rohit was simply brilliant as a leader in this year’s IPL. While in the past seasons it was batting skills that benefitted the team, this time it was his smart captaincy that grabbed eyeballs. Moreover, he has the experience at the top most level. He is definitely the ideal candidate to act as Kohli’s deputy in limited-overs cricket at the moment.Published 24 May 2017, 14:49 IST