Ahead of the third Test against Australia, India captain Rohit Sharma clarified Indian team management’s decision to remove KL Rahul from vice-captaincy in the last two Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test matches, saying it doesn’t mean anything.
The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, scheduled to begin on March 1, will pit India against Australia in Indore. It’s worth noting that Rahul has only scored 38 runs in three innings, and despite the club’s faith in him, it’ll be difficult to keep giving him chances, especially with someone like Shubman Gill waiting in the wings.
Rohit stated that each of the 17 players nominated for the team would have a chance to make the Playing 11. He claimed Rahul was appointed vice-captain solely due to the team’s lack of veteran players at the time.
“All 17 players in the team has a chance. The team will back those who are talented. Stripping vice-captaincy doesn’t mean anything big. He was made the vice-captain because maybe there was not many experienced players at that time. It is not a big thing,” Rohit said in a pre-match conference.
“When we talk about players going through a tough time, anyone with potential will be given enough time to prove themselves. And whether you’re vice-captain or not doesn’t really tell you anything.
“When we talk about players going through a tough time, anyone with potential will be given enough time to prove themselves. And being vice-captain or not being vice-captain, doesn’t actually tell you anything. At that point in time, when he was the vice-captain, he was probably the senior most. And his removal of vice-captaincy doesn’t mean anything,” he added.
Shubman Gill has been overlooked for the first two Tests against Australia, despite some impressive recent form against both red-ball and limited overs, as selectors have opted for more experienced options at the top of India’s batting order.
“As far as Gill and KL both are concerned, they train and practice [for long hours] before any game… As far as our 11 is concerned, we have not finalised on it. I would like to do it at the toss and I prefer to be announced at that point in time,” Rohit Sharma further said.
India currently leads Australia 2-0 in the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series and needs one more win to secure a spot in the WTC final. Australia is the other favourite to make it to the final.
He predicted that selection would be difficult because Shardul Thakur, India’s favourite pace-bowling all-rounder in international conditions, is not in the squad for this series and hasn’t played competitive cricket in over a month.
“There is definitely a possibility of that. We’ve already spoken about it. We need to get the guys ready for it as well,” Rohit said.
“The important one is Shardul Thakur, because he comes into that plan for us. I don’t know how ready he is, knowing that he just got married. We don’t know how many overs he has bowled. But yeah, that thought process is definitely there. If we do what we do here and we get the result we want, we might think of doing something different in Ahmedabad for sure,” he added.