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'Always believed India should never appoint a vice-captain': Shastri's 'blunt and brutal' verdict on KL Rahul situation

Feb 26, 2023 09:14 AM IST

Ravi Shastri addressed the KL Rahul situation in great detail and had a rather unusual remark over the vice-captaincy role in the Indian Test team.

Team India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match Test series against Australia last Sunday, when they beat the visitors by six wickets in Delhi. While the Aussies provided a stiff competition to the Indian team in the first two days, their effort went in vain during the first session of Day 3 when the side went from 61/1 to 113 all out in the second innings. India eventually chased down the 115-run target with relative ease, but one of the biggest talking points remained the consistent struggles of KL Rahul.

Ravi Shastri; KL Rahul(File)

In three innings across two Tests, Rahul registered scores of 20, 17, and 1, and calls have been made for his exclusion from the side for the third Test in Indore. In the squad announced for the remaining two Tests for the series, Rahul has retained his place but there has been no confirmation on whether he would be the vice-captain of the side, unlike in the squad for the first two matches. The lack of clarity over the leadership role has fuelled speculations on whether the right-handed batter might be on borrowed time in the Indian playing XI.

Also read: Watch: Ollie Pope incredibly anticipates catch before Daryl Mitchell could play his shot during NZ vs ENG 2nd Test

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri spoke in detail about Rahul's situation in the Indian team, and made a rather unusual statement on his vice-captain role. According to Shastri, there should be no vice-captain in the Indian team – at least for the home Tests.

“The team management will decide (the vice-captain). They know his (Rahul's) form, they know his mental state. They know how they should be watching someone like Shubman Gill. I, for one, always had the belief (to) never appoint a vice-captain for India. I would rather go with by best XI, and if captain has to leave the field, you'd zero in on a player that can take over at the time, simply because you don't need to create complications.” Shastri said on the ICC Review podcast.

“If vice-captain doesn't perform, someone can take his place; at least the tag is not there. I'm being blunt and brutal, I never like vice-captain in home condition. Overseas, it's different. Here, you want prime form, you want someone like Shubman Gill, who's red hot. He will challenge. He has to bang that door down and get into the side. Now, he's not the vice-captain, it has to be team management's decision,” Shastri further said.

Further talking on Rahul's form, Shastri said that while Rahul is a talented player, he needs to start converting it into performances.

“They will have to see form, his state of mind. He's a tremendous player, but talent is only so much. You have to convert that into results and be consistent. There's so much talent in India who is knocking the door. It's not just KL Rahul, there are many in middle-order and bowling lineup as well,” said the former India head coach.

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