Rohit Sharma Likely To Lead vs West Indies But Captaincy Remains Uncertain

Rohit Sharma's Test captaincy can come into question after India's poor performance in the WTC Final 2023 against Australia at the Oval.

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Abishek Goswami
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There is no immediate threat to Rohit Sharma's Test captaincy but he will need to raise up some significant numbers in West Indies to prevent a question mark over his leadership in the respective format. Rohit will lead the Indian team in the two-Test series in West Indies and then have to sit with BCCI and decide on his future in the traditional format. If not Rohit himself decides to stay away from the two-Test series against West Indies starting in Dominica from July 12, he will be leading the team.

Read Also: Michael Bracewell is set to miss the 2023 World Cup due to a ruptured Achilles.

However, the BCCI and the national selection committee will be under pressure to take a tough call if he fails to notch up at least one big knock either at Dominica or at Port of Spain during the second Test (July 20-24). It is up to the Mumbai star now whether he will continue or whether the captaincy job is too big for him at this age.

Since Rohit took over Test captaincy in 2022, India played 10 Tests and he missed three, one in England due to COVID-19 and two in Bangladesh due to split webbing. He scored 390 runs in 7 Tests and had an average of 35.45 in 11 completed innings with a single hundred and no other score above 50. In that same phase, Virat Kohli played all 10 Tests, scoring 517 runs in 17 innings with 186 against Australia at Ahmedabad being his best. Cheteshwar Pujara in the same phase played eight Tests and scored 482 runs in 14 innings with two unbeaten knocks at an average of 40.12.

A senior BCCI source opened up about Rohit's test captaincy uncertainty

"These are baseless stuff that Rohit will be removed from captaincy. Yes, whether he will last the whole two-year WTC cycle is a big question as he would be nearly 38 when the third edition ends in 2025," a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

"As of now, I believe that Shiv Sunder Das and his colleagues will have to take a call after the two Tests and looking at his batting form." In fact, the BCCI works very differently from other sporting organisations.

In the Indian board, those in power believe that you don't take decisions when the criticism reaches a crescendo. "After West Indies, we have no Tests till December-end when the team travels to South Africa. So there is enough time for selectors to deliberate and take a decision. By then the fifth selector (new chairman) will also join the panel and can make a decision," he added.

"Those who are aware of developments in Indian cricket know that once Virat Kohli quit Test captaincy after the series defeat in South Africa, Rohit wasn't very keen to become the leader in the longest format initially as he didn't know whether his body would hold or not."

"The two top men at that time (former president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah) had to convince him to take up the role once KL Rahul failed to impress as a captain in South Africa," the source said.

The selectors have to take the hard call in the next three years. All three big players over 35 can't constitute the top order of India anymore, so BCCI has to do what is right looking at the future.

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