Dilip Vengsarkar
Dilip Vengsarkar. (Photo: BCCI)

After Virat Kohli recently stepped down from India’s Test captaincy a day after his side lost the Test series 1-2 to South Africa, the speculations for India’s next red-ball leader is featured in everyone’s minds.

Ajinkya Rahane, who was Kohli’s deputy for a long time, was axed from the role ahead of the South Africa tour owing to poor form with the bat.

Rohit Sharma was named as the initial vice-captain of the Test squad before he was ruled out of the South Africa tour owing to a hamstring injury.

KL Rahul was promoted as the vice-captain and also led the team in Johannesburg in Kohli’s absence. Some media reports have also suggested that Rohit and Rahul are the front-runners for India’s red-ball captaincy.

KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Getty)

Would appoint Rohit Sharma or Ravichandran Ashwin as a stop-gap captain: Dilip Vengsarkar

Former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar opined that India should look for a temporary Test skipper in either of the senior players like Rohit or off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Vengsarkar believes that once the youngsters gain a substantial amount of experience than they could be looked out for captaincy.

“I would appoint Rohit or Ashwin as a stop-gap captain and groom the future captain. Right now, you need somebody with captaincy experience and an assured place in the Test side. Rohit and Ashwin have established themselves in Test cricket,” Vengsarkar told Times of India.

Ali Bacher On Pant-Ashwin
Photo Credit: (BCCI)

“Pant, Rahul, or Shreyas (Iyer) need another year before they’ll be ready for the job. Pant has proved his mettle, but needs to work on his shot-selection. Till then, either of them can be asked to captain India in the white-ball format, and be the vice-captain in Tests. That ways, they’ll get to observe and learn how to lead the Indian team,” he added.

Wanted to give more time to MS Dhoni: Dilip Vengsarkar

Vengsarkar, who was BCCI’s chairman of selectors in 2008, mentioned how they handed the red-ball captaincy to MS Dhoni before giving him the space to play under Anil Kumble.

“We wanted to give some more time to Dhoni before he took the Test captaincy. He was already the white-ball captain, and we wanted him to learn a few things by following Kumble closely. Kumble led India superbly in that period,” Vengsarkar mentioned.

“It has been caused over the years by the selectors’ lack of vision in grooming a captain for the future. Like we groomed Dhoni, they just haven’t identified the right man to replace Kohli as a captain. I just couldn’t understand why Shikhar Dhawan was named as the captain of India’s tour of Sri Lanka last year,” he added.

Kohli took over the reins from MS Dhoni in Test cricket after the latter retired from the red-ball format at the end of 2014. Kohli stood as India’s captain in 68 Test matches and won 40 of them, the best record for any Indian skipper.

Also Read: You Need A Player Who Remains Fit: Sunil Gavaskar Explains Why Rohit Sharma Shouldn’t Be Given Test Captaincy