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"Just because Virat Kohli hasn't won an IPL you can’t remove him from India captaincy" - Sarandeep Singh

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 30 Mar 2021
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Former India selector Sarandeep Singh has brushed aside calls to split Team India's captaincy duties between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

On Tuesday, Sarandeep Singh remarked that Virat Kohli's lack of success in the Indian Premier League (IPL) doesn't warrant a change in the national team's leadership.

Virat Kohli recently led India to a couple of stellar T20I series wins against full-strength Australian and English sides. However, the brouhaha to elevate Rohit Sharma in the shortest format is far from ceased, given the vice-captain's unparalleled record in the IPL.

In an interaction with PTI, Sarandeep Singh disagreed with this rationale. Virat Kohli - the only player to average over 50 across all formats - has no reason to step down currently, he said.

“Spilt captaincy is needed when your captain is not performing but he (Kohli) is the only player to average more than 50 in all formats. If he isn’t performing in one format you can take the leadership pressure off him and give it to someone else. Just because he has not won an IPL you can’t remove him from India captaincy. He is also the fittest player and captain. Rohit is there to lead the side in his absence but there is no reason to replace Virat,” said Sarandeep Singh.

After successfully joining forces to defeat England in all three formats, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will now lock horns in IPL 2021.

While Sharma's Mumbai Indians have won five IPL titles, Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore are still searching for their first trophy.

The teams will come head to head in the first game of the new season on April 9.

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Rishabh Pant praiseworthy but KL Rahul should be India's wicketkeeper in ODIs: Sarandeep Singh

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

Speaking further, Sarandeep Singh waxed lyrical over wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant's batting evolution over the last few months.

He, however, added that India should still stick with KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper in ODIs, with Shreyas Iyer batting at the No. 4 position.

“No praise will be enough for Pant. He had some fitness issues, worked on that and worked on his shot selection. If you expect a 21-year-old to play like a 30-year-old, it is tough to start with... There is a right time and right ball to hit. The way he played in Australia, it shows he has gained a lot of experience. He is picking and choosing," said Sarandeep Singh.

He added in this regard:

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"He can give you 10 years in Test cricket, Saha cannot and has become the number one choice. In ODIs, Shreyas got injured so Rishabh played. When he is back, KL should be the wicketkeeper because he has been keeping wickets for a long time and is doing a fine job.”

Rishabh Pant was India's second-highest run-scorer (270 at 54.00) in the four-match Test series. He collected 102 runs in the T20I rubber and punctuated it with 155 runs from the ODI series at a top-class average of 77.50.

Published 30 Mar 2021, 14:42 IST
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