'You'll have to logically make him...': Ex-India opener makes surprise pick as Test vice-captain in Rohit's absence

  • There have been many discussions about Rahane's form in recent times as he's managed to score just 411 runs in 12 Tests at an average of 19.57 this year.
Ajinkya Rahane(AFP)
Ajinkya Rahane(AFP)
Published on Dec 15, 2021 07:56 AM IST
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Rohit Sharma's sudden exit from the South Africa Test series has opened doors for Ajinkya Rahane, who wasn't guaranteed a place in the Playing XI after being stripped of vice-captaincy. There have been many discussions about the Mumbaikar's form in recent times as he's managed to score just 411 runs in 12 Tests at an average of 19.57 this year.

To add to his misery, Shreyas Iyer and Hanuma Vihari have been in excellent form lately. But Rohit getting ruled out of the Test series has given Rahane a brief respite, with the post of vice-captain up for grabs again.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra has also backed Rahane to regain the role, given the fact that he had led the team in the Kanpur Test versus New Zealand. The 33-year-old Rahane averages over 40 in away conditions, with eight of his 12 Test tons coming outside the country.

"Now you will not even know whom to make the vice-captain; is it going to be Ajinkya Rahane, or they will have to find someone else? You will have to logically make him the vice-captain because you had made him the captain just now in Kanpur," said Chopra on his YouTube channel.

The cricketer-turned-commentator, however, has a different take on the issue if Rahane warms the benches in the Test rubber. "If he was the captain in Kanpur and when the tour starts in South Africa and Rohit Sharma is not there, him (Rahane) being the vice-captain is absolutely certain. But do you see his place being certain in the team, you cannot make him the vice-captain today and drop him in the next match," Chopra further said.

Chopra further endorsed Jasprit Bumrah to take up the job of Test vice-captain. Being a regular candidate in the Test setup, there's a possibility of the Ahmedabad-born pacer being made Virat Kohli's deputy. Another candidate who can take the mantle of Test vice-captaincy from Rohit is Ravichandran Ashwin.

"I feel India will not announce a vice-captain at all; Virat Kohli is the captain; Rahul Dravid is the coach, you can manage between the two of you. Unless of course, you announce Jasprit Bumrah as the vice-captain. That is a possibility because he is a regular candidate.

"You can also make Ravichandran Ashwin because now there is no other spinner as well. If Ravindra Jadeja was there, we say that you don't play Ashwin overseas, but now there is Jayant Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin, and you know who amongst those two will play," Chopra explained.

The Test series starts with the first Test from December 26 to 30 at SuperSport Park in Centurion, followed by the second Test at Wanderers in Johannesburg from January 3 to 7 and the third Test at Newlands in Cape Town from January 11 to 15.

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