‘Rohit will captain India till 2023 World Cup’: Chopra excludes Hardik, names ‘two candidates’ for ODI captaincy
Former India opener Aakash Chopra feels Rohit will remain India's ODI and Test captain till this year. There are two big tournaments lined up in those formats. In Tests, India have a big chance to play the World Test Championship (WTC) final if they do well in the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home against Australia. In ODIs, India are slated to host the World Cup for the first time since their triumph in 2011.
Cricket is evolving at a rapid pace, so much so that pretty much all top teams are all contemplating split captaincy and a different set of players for Tests, ODIs and T20Is. England, Australia and New Zealand have officially taken that route while India have shown signs of going that way, by portraying Hardik Pandya as the leader in T20Is. Rohit, however, is officially still the all-format Indian captain. He and Virat Kohli have not featured in any T20I since last year's World Cup in Australia and whatever matches India have played in the shortest format during this period, it has been under Hardik's captaincy.
Hardik has won all the series he has captained in so far while Rohit led India to six consecutive ODI wins - three against Sri Lanka and as many against New Zealand - recently. Performance-wise, it is hard to choose. Former India opener Aakash Chopra feels Rohit will remain India's ODI and Test captain till this year. There are two big tournaments lined up in those formats. In Tests, India have a big chance to play the World Test Championship (WTC) final if they do well in the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home against Australia. In ODIs, India are slated to host the World Cup for the first time since their triumph in 2011.
“I don’t think we will see a single captain for all formats just yet, I think those days are over. Rohit Sharma will be the Test team’s captain till the WTC, that’s not going to change - it is going to stay like that," Chopra said on Jio Cinema.
The former cricketer is pretty certain that Hardik will be the captain in next year's T20 World Cup. But he thinks either Shubman Gill or Rishabh Pant could be India's ODI captain in future.
"Hardik Pandya is currently the captain in the T20 format, and I think he will continue to do so and in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, you will see Pandya be the captain of the Indian team. In One-Day cricket, Rohit Sharma will continue to be the captain till the World Cup. But I think in the long term, in terms of India’s captaincy, it will be Shubman Gill and Rishabh Pant. These are my two candidates for India’s captaincy in the future, he said.
Gill has shown remarkable form in the 50-over format. He currently has an average of 73 and a strike rate of 109 and recently became the fastest Indian to 1000 ODI runs. He also became the youngest to smash an ODI double hundred.
Pant, on the other hand, is out of action as of now. He is currently recovering from the injuries he suffered during a crash in December, last year.
Chopra further spoke about who he believes will be the replacement for Rishabh Pant. “It is really unfortunate that Rishabh Pant isn’t available for us at the moment. He is the kind of player who can play in all formats and is an excellent one too. What I feel is that we will see various players across the different formats. I would say KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan, both are in contention for Test cricket. If you need a better keeper then KS Bharat but if you need an explosive left-hand batter because we don’t have a lefty in the top order, then I would say we can say, Ishan Kishan. Personally, my preference will be KS Bharat because he can keep the scoreboard ticking in Tests and we need someone who is going to be able to handle Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja’s bowling behind the wicket. In T20s, It’s going to be a toss-up between Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson and ODIs will obviously feature KL Rahul behind the wicket, there is no question about it.”