Former India selector Saba Karim feels that Rohit Sharma is the only player who could be appointed as the new Test captain of the Indian team because KL Rahul and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant have not been groomed yet.
Virat Kohli decided to step down as India’s T20I captain after ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and the BCCI sacked him as ODI skipper. Also, Kohli recently relinquished the Test captaincy after the Test series defeat in South Africa and the BCCI has not yet announced the new Test captain of the Indian team.
Karim, speaking on the Khelneeti podcast, said that the appointment of Rohit Sharma as an all-format captain will be a short-term assignment.
“Even if Rohit Sharma is appointed captain in all three formats, it will be a short-term assignment. 2023 is a very important year for Indian cricket. We have the 50-over World Cup and the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) cycle will also end. They need to look at this phase first,” he asserted.
He added that Indian team management needs to groom a future leader.
“They need to groom someone who plays all three formats. Right now, Rohit is the only option because no one like a KL Rahul or Rishabh Pant has been groomed,” he maintained.
His presence and work ethic is commanding – Saba Karim on Rohit Sharma
Former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Saba Karim said that Rohit’s presence and his work ethic is commanding. He added that the biggest challenge for Rohit will be his fitness.
“He has earned that respect from his performances. His presence and work ethic is commanding. The England Test series was a challenge for Rohit but he conquered that as well. Keeping all this aside, the biggest challenge for Rohit is whether he is fit.
“Leaving alone leading, even playing all three formats is a huge task for him. He has been injured multiple times and even now he is returning from rehab.
“The physio, trainers and everyone involved with his fitness needs to be consulted before making such a big decision. We cannot have a captain who gets injured at the start of a Test series,” he elaborated.
Karim believes that Rohit should lead India till 2023 and the team management can manage his workload by playing him only in important matches.
“I think Rohit should be captain till 2023. He doesn’t need to play every game, he can only come in for the important matches. His workload can thus be managed. India needs him most in Tests and ICC events. In bilateral engagements, it is all about judging how the team is evolving, which can be done by the coach also.”
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