The BCCI announced on Wednesday (July 6) the Team India squad for the three-match one-day series against the West Indies that will be played later this month. Two major talking points have emerged following the Indian cricket board’s announcement.
One, of course, is the fact that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been rested again. The other is Shikhar Dhawan being named Team India captain for the one-dayers in the West Indies, which begin on July 22.
Ever since Kohli decided to quit the T20I and Test captaincies and was sacked as ODI skipper, India have been changing leaders for almost every series. Rohit became the all-format leader once Kohli stepped down as Test captain following the loss in South Africa earlier this year.
Rather bizarrely, both Rohit and Kohli have been in and out of the Indian team for various reasons over the past few months. As recently as the rescheduled Test in Birmingham against England, pacer Jasprit Bumrah was appointed captain after Rohit was ruled out due to COVID-19.
Indian cricket fans are bewildered by the game of musical chairs being played by the BCCI for the massive post of the captain of the Indian team. Here are some Twitter reactions from puzzled social media users:
One nation, many leaders: The Team India story
In a sense, life has come full circle for Dhawan. He was appointed captain almost exactly a year ago when he led a second-string white-ball squad in Sri Lanka. That set off a chain reaction of sorts, as Team India captains have changed at the drop of a hat in recent months.
After Kohli decided to quit the T20 captaincy, Rohit was named the new leader. He took charge of the home series against New Zealand towards the end of last year. However, he missed the entire South Africa tour after being named captain for the one-dayers.
KL Rahul led the team in South Africa in Rohit’s absence. Following the conclusion of IPL 2022, Rohit was rested again for the T20Is against the Proteas at home. Rahul was supposed to lead the team, but a day before the start of the series, he was ruled out due to a groin injury. Keeper-batter Rishabh Pant ended up captaining the side.
Towards the end of last month, a Hardik Pandya-led side took on Ireland in a two-match T20I series in Dublin.
The irony of the entire situation is that the BCCI sacked Kohli as one-day captain because they did not want two different leaders for the two white-ball formats!