A look at potential captains of Indian cricket team
The five-match T20I series between India and South Africa ended in a draw (2-2) owing to the heavy outpour in Bengaluru. Rishabh Pant-led India restored parity after losing the first two T20Is. Pant led in place of injured KL Rahul, who had replaced regular skipper Rohit Sharma. Ahead of the fifth T20I, head coach Rahul Dravid highlighted the influx of leaders in the group.
Why does this story matter?
- As many as six players have led India across formats in the last eight months due to either injuries or logistical issues.
- The voyage started after Virat Kohli stepped down as India's T20I captain.
- Although Rohit now leads India in all formats, the Indian selectors usually find make-shift captains for second-string white-ball sides.
- Head coach Dravid believes the "development of leaders" would be fruitful.
Is KL Rahul an automatic choice?
KL Rahul is the name that might cross one's mind when we think of India's future captain. The top-order batter recently led Lucknow Super Giants to the Indian Premier League playoffs in their maiden season. However, he had a forgettable start as India's captain, with the side losing the three-ODI series in South Africa 0-3 under him. Notwithstanding, Rahul averages 46.28 while leading (T20s).
How has Hardik Pandya fared as captain?
Hardik Pandya will lead India in the Ireland T20I series. The BCCI named him the captain as the current stand-in skipper Rishabh Pant will miss the series. Pandya led Gujarat Titans' title-winning campaign (IPL 2022). Before the season, Pandya was the under scanner due to his fitness. Besides showing his remarkable leadership skills, Pandya did well with both bat and ball throughout the season.
Will Shreyas Iyer win the race?
In 2020, Shreyas Iyer led Delhi Capitals to their first-ever IPL final. He earned praise for his captaincy throughout the tournament. Iyer, who now leads Kolkata Knight Riders, has 27 wins as captain. He is one of the eight players to have captained in 55 or more IPL matches. Iyer could be seen as India's next captain as he has become an all-format player.
Pant couldn't perform with the bat while leading
Pant led in place of KL Rahul in the SA T20I series. His on-field decisions were questioned as India lost the first two games. However, he led India to two consecutive wins thereafter. Pant averaged 14.50 with the bat and struck at 105.45. His scores read 29 (16), 5(7), 6(8), 17(23), and 1*(1). Notwithstanding, he is a mainstay batter in India's Test side.
Six players who have led India since July 2021
Since July 2021, Virat Kohli (12), Rohit (14), Shikhar Dhawan (6), Rahul (4), Pant (5), and Ajinkya Rahane (1) have led Team India in international cricket. Dhawan owns the highest average among them in this period (42.80), while Rohit is unbeaten as captain.