'It was an easy call': Former BCCI selector explains why Bumrah was appointed ODI vice-captain over Pant & Iyer

  • Iyer steered the Delhi-based outfit to its maiden IPL final in 2020 while Pant took them to Qualifiers in 2021, steering the team to a first-place finish in the round-robin stage.
Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant(Getty Images)
Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant(Getty Images)
Published on Jan 02, 2022 07:01 AM IST
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By, New Delhi

Pacer Jasprit Bumrah on Friday was rewarded for his consistency across all three formats as the BCCI named him KL Rahul's deputy for the upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa. The 28-year-old seamer is set to don the vice-captaincy hat in the bilateral series after pipping two proven IPL captains -- Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer.

While a few could question the Indian board's move to go with Bumrah over the Delhi Capitals captains, former chairman of selectors MSK Prasad feels it was an easy decision for the selectors. Since bursting into the international scene back in 2016, Bumrah has established himself as an integral part of the Indian bowling setup. He could be also seen leading the team at some point in South Africa if Rahul decides to take a one-game break.

"Jasprit is a very sensible young man with a lot of rationality. So why not reward him? I like this decision as to why can't we make a fast bowler captain If he is doing well in all formats?" Prasad told news agency PTI.

"Unless you give him an opportunity to be a part of the leadership group, you won't know what to expect of Jasprit. But having said that, I would also say that possibly since it was a decision on vice-captaincy for one series, it was an easy call. Had it been for captaincy with both Rohit and Rahul unavailable, it could have been different," Prasad added.

Iyer steered the Delhi-based outfit to its maiden IPL final in 2020 while Pant took them to Qualifiers in 2021, steering the team to a first-place finish in the round-robin stage. But Prasad sees leading the national team as a completely different story. He also pointed out Iyer's recent absence due to his shoulder injury and Pant's struggles with consistency.

"In IPL, a team might have four to five guaranteed superstars with different drifts and pulls. Then you need to manage at least a couple of domestic players, who may or may not withstand the pressures of franchise cricket.

"In the Indian team, you have at least 12-13 top-class talented fellows, who know their exact roles at the biggest stage. Captaining India is at times easier," he said.

"I think it's got a lot to do with the fact that Iyer is now coming in after surgery and also Pant needs to be a bit more consistent in the white-ball format.

"Also this my assumption that since till 2023, Rohit will remain the captain and KL will be his deputy, making Pant or Iyer vice-captain now means that you give them an idea that they are in leadership mix which might not be the case," Prasad further said.

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