If not Virat Kohli, then who?
In light of the Indian team's inconsistent performances in their Test series against England, and the constant chopping and changing to the line-up, some critics, albeit limited in number, of Virat Kohli's captaincy have begun cropping up. These critics have argued that Kohli's selection style of constantly changing the squad is adversely impacting the confidence of players; while that is the main point of criticism levied against the current Indian captain, others points of criticism such as his potentially 'authoritarian' nature and defensive mindset while fielding have also come up.
A common response to these critiques is that the Indian Test team currently has no other player that can lead the side. This article assesses potential candidates that could lead the side, if India were to replace their captain.
Note: This article is based on a hypothetical situation, and is written solely to provoke thought; the author of this article is, by no means, advocating for a change in captaincy of the Indian Test team.
#3 - Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin, the off-spinning all-rounder from Tamil Nadu, is known to be an extremely intelligent, tactically astute, and thoughtful cricketer in cricketing circles; naturally, these characteristics, along with his seniority in the test side, make him one of the more tempting captaincy alternatives. In addition to occasionally leading his state side, Ashwin's main captaincy comes from the IPL, where he was the captain of Kings XI Punjab in this year's edition. While his team did finish seventh in the table, he impressed one and all with his captaincy, particularly in the first half of the tournament.
However, that being said, India play a lot of their cricket in overseas conditions, and a spinner's position in the side is not certain. Further, Ashwin is still not India's clear first-choice spinner in overseas conditions, and this means that even in conditions where India play a spinner, he may not merit a place in the 11. A captain's spot in the side needs to be assured, and this in itself makes him an unsuitable choice.
Final Verdict: Tactically astute cricketer, but his place in the side is not guaranteed in overseas conditions, which automatically makes him unsuitable.