Former Indian left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has picked three players who can potentially lead Team India in the white-ball fixtures against Sri Lanka in the absence of the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly recently revealed that Team India will tour Sri Lanka for a series of three ODIs and as many T20Is during the month of July.
But with the senior team set to be in England at the time, the squad will consist of white-ball specialists and upcoming youngsters.
And, so the discussions around who should lead the second string team have intensified in the past few days.
According to Pragyan Ojha, one of KL Rahul or Shreyas Iyer- if available- should lead the Indian team and if that’s not the case then veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan should take over the leadership duties.
“When you talk about a new team, you need a guy who has experience. If Shreyas Iyer or KL Rahul is available then one of these two guys can be the Indian captain or if Shikhar Dhawan is there,” said Pragyan Ojha as quoted by India Today.
“Out of these three guys you can have one because your captain has to be experienced to handle things. But if you ask me, I can think out-of-the-box at times when you can give a new team and try to build a new captain. Someone who is young and can be your next captain in the years to come, this (SL tour) is a great opportunity,” he added.
Pragyan Ojha further reckoned that such series provides a great opportunity for the management to pick leaders who they feel can captain for a long period of time in the coming future.
Terming BCCIs decision to send a second-string team to Sri Lanka as ‘out-of-the-box thinking, the former Indian international urged the team management and selectors to do the same by picking a young leader. Pragyan was referring to the likes of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer.
”This used to happen with the India A team, a lot of people who captained that team went on to play for the country. It’s a great responsibility when you are thinking out-of-the-box, this is not a conventional thought. One team is playing Test cricket in England, the other one is playing limited-overs formats in Sri Lanka which is out-of-the-box thinking. You can also do out-of-the-box thinking about players who can be a leader in the future, I’m talking about people like Shreyas and Rahul,” said Pragyan Ojha.
“Shikhar can contribute as a player but when you look at the leadership qualities, especially from this tour you need someone who can be built for the future. I feel India needs someone who can give the team at least 7-8 years of cricket and be the next captain in the years to come,” he added.
Having said that, KL Rahul has been named in the Test squad [subjected to fitness] while there is still a question-mark over Shreyas Iyer’s availability in July. If the duo is out of reckoning, then we might see a two-way battle between Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya as far as leading Team India is concerned.