The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been in deep waters ever since the issue between its president Sourav Ganguly and former India captain Virat Kohli went public. Things got uglier when Kohli stood down as the captain of the Test team following the series defeat in South Africa.
Since Kohli decided to vacate the role of Test captaincy, many fans and experts have been giving their inputs on who should take over the reins from Kohli in Test cricket for India.January 15, 2022
The Indian board faced a lot of flak on social media and things have reached a stage where whenever the BCCI announces anything, angry cricket fans are ready to take a shot at the cricket body.
One thing that stands out is the delay in announcing the replacement for Kohli as the captain in the longest format of the game. This one decision by the board has worked as a fuel that is slowly damaging Indian cricket as players are looking more focused on captaincy rather than their own performances.
Should KL Rahul be India's next Test captain? pic.twitter.com/mN1pDwaWsa— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 18, 2022
As many as three players from the Test squad that travelled to South Africa have openly admitted that they are ready to become the next captain.
The list includes Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul and Mohammed Shami.
Bumrah was the first to throw his name in the race of becoming the next India Test captain. He was quizzed about the opportunity ahead of the ODI series opener against South Africa and Bumrah said he is ready to contribute and ‘it will be an honour’ to lead the side.January 17, 2022
“For me, I am ready to contribute in whichever manner I can, be it in the post or otherwise. If given the opportunity, it's an honour, but if not then also I will try to do whatever is required to the best of my ability. My focus is to do well.” Bumrah had said.
KL Rahul, who led the team in the absence of Kohli in the second Test in South Africa, also spoke similarly when asked if he is looking forward to leading the team in the longest format of the game.
"Leading the country is always special for anyone and I am no different. Yes, it would be a huge responsibility if given to me (being the Test captain). It is something that is exciting, I am not really looking to anything forward, I am just focusing on the present," KL Rahul had mentioned.
Shami was the recent player who spoke about leading the team in Test cricket. He said that he’s ready for the responsibility but like his peers, he too ended the statement in a diplomatic manner by saying it is not the only thing that is on the pacer’s mind.
‘To be honest, who doesn’t want to captain India’: Mohammed Shami on Test captaincy, says ‘ready for any responsibility’ #ViratKohli #Virat #ViratKholi #viratians #MohdShami #Shami #Captain #IndianCricketTeam #Cricket #CricketTwitter @imVkohli @MdShami11 https://t.co/xymYjEbdkw pic.twitter.com/NGtl1qBUyL— Drilers (@drilers) January 28, 2022
“I am not thinking too much about captaincy at the moment. I am ready for whatever responsibility is given to me. To be honest, who doesn’t want to captain the India team but it is not the only thing and I am looking to contribute in whichever manner possible for the team,” Shami told India.com.
While three players showing interest in taking over the leadership role is an encouraging sign for any team, but with a player like Rohit Sharma who has officially replaced Kohli in the limited-overs format as the captain waiting in the wings, these statements do indicate that players are more focused on the vacant role in the team and that is somewhat hampering their performances on the field.
The BCCI can put an end to this problem once and for all by announcing a permanent captain in red-ball cricket so that the focus moves away from captaincy and fans and experts can once again shift their attention to cricket.