‘He should lead in next two World Cups’: Dinesh Karthik names Virat Kohli's replacement as next India captain
- Karthik reckons the captaincy should go to Rohit, and for the next couple of years, the likes of Pant and Rahul could be groomed under him to be the next long-term captain of the Indian team much like how MS Dhoni was given charge back in the year 2007.
With a new head coach in Rahul Dravid announced, the focus now shifts to the next captain of the Indian cricket team. With Virat Kohli stepping down as India's T20I captain and reports doing the rounds that his ODI captaincy could be in jeopardy if the team fails to qualify for the semifinals of the T20 World Cup, it adds more fuel to the biggest question in Indian cricket – Who after Kohli?
The obvious front-runner is Rohit Sharma, the current vice-captain of the team. Rohit has a proven track record as captain having led his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians to a record five titles, along with achieving a healthy win percentage leading India in ODIs and T20Is. However, the 24-year-old Rohit cannot be a long-term option, which pops up names such as KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant.
Veteran Indian wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik has provided the perfect solution which could be the ideal way forward for Indian cricket. Karthik reckons the captaincy should go to Rohit, and for the next couple of years, the likes of Pant and Rahul could be groomed under him to be the next long-term captain of the Indian team much like how MS Dhoni was given charge back in the year 2007.
"It will be only fair to give Rohit Sharma the opportunity to lead India for a year or two in white-ball formats. Allow him to be the captain for a couple of World Cups. You have got to give him that credit and that chance to go ahead and represent the country as captain and allow him to showcase his skills as a captain as well," Karthik said on Cricbuzz.
"He has been really good in the limited time he has captained India in ODIs and T20Is. He has brought in a considerable amount of success which tells me he knows his traits; he knows his skills. You've got to give him an opportunity before you bring a young boy like Rishabh Pant, or KL Rahul for that matter and make them captain."
Karthik stressed on the importance of the BCCI and Rohit working closely to determine the next leader of the Indian cricket team. While Rahul and Pant are the two likely contenders, Karthik feels other youngsters could be in the fray as well if the BCCI feels they are capable enough. As for Pant and Rahul, Karthik feels both have things working in their favour but also against them, while highlighting the importance of Rohit's view in this.
"It is important to have that candid conversation with Rohit and figure out who he would like as his lieutenant so that when he is not around – it is humanly impossible for Rohit to play all matches in all formats. They should have that chat with Rohit once they decide that he is the captain. The message should be 'we are looking around KL and Pant. Is there a direction that you would want anybody among the 2 to be your deputy?' One of the qualities of a great leader is that when you leave your throne, you find your successor and groom him through the time you are a leader," Karthik added.
"KL in many ways hasn't captained Karnataka for too long, whereas Pant has captained Delhi and won the T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali, so that gives him the weightage. On the other hand, KL has led in some 28 games in the IPL and done phenomenally well as a batsman during that time, whereas Pant has led only 14-15 games this season. In terms of high-pressure games, KL has the upper hand. So, if you weigh the pros and cons, it is hard for us to pinpoint names. Both of them are great players, both play almost all formats."