In an interaction with Cricbuzz, Ashish Nehra was asked to comment on the popular belief that fast-bowlers are not preferred for leadership roles because they tend to underuse their own bowling as captains. In reply, Nehra listed some past fast-bowlers who have captained their national teams. He said:
"India has already made a mistake by not making me the captain. They won't want to make another mistake (chuckles)! But no, it's not like that. Courtney Walsh was a captain, Wasim Akram was a captain, Waqar Younis was a captain too... There's nothing like that..."
Ashish Nehra also discussed how the two frontrunners for the job, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul, have issues with their resumes. Nehra insisted that unlike the duo, Jasprit Bumrah is a certainty in India's playing XI across all three formats and that "there's nothing in the rulebook" to disqualify him from being a captaincy contender.
Ashish Nehra added:
"After Rohit Sharma, we are hearing the names of Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul [as contendors]. Rishabh Pant has traveled around the world but has also carried drinks and has even been left out from the team before. KL Rahul returned to Test cricket because Mayank Agarwal was injured... So Jasprit Bumrah can be an option too. As Ajay [Jadeja] said, he's sturdy, a certainty in the team, and is always in the XI for all formats. It's nowhere written in the rule book that fast bowlers can't be captains."
The former fast-bowler's remarks came in light of India's massive eight-wicket win over Scotland in Dubai. Jasprit Bumrah picked up two scalps in the match, becoming India's highest wicket-taker in the T20Is.
"Jasprit Bumrah has the mind to be the captain" - Ajay Jadeja
Earlier in the same interaction, Ajay Jadeja said there are only two requirements for being a captain - a fixed place in the playing XI and an understanding of the game.
The former batter said Jasprit Bumrah has both those virtues and also the right "mind to be the captain".
"He always plays white-ball cricket. And the qualities required to be a captain [like] understanding the game - he does it the best there's no doubt about that... If you are thinking about the future and going out of the box, then he has the mind to be the captain. It's possible to look at him as the next Indian captain because, for it, you have to be a certainty in the team and have an understanding of the game."
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India will now play against Namibia on Monday, November 8, in Dubai. But whether or not the Men in Blue will make it to the semi-finals will hinge on the result of the Afghanistan versus New Zealand clash on Sunday.