Commentator Aakash Chopra believes that Ajinkya Rahane must be the vice-captain of the Indian team for the three-match Test series against South Africa on their home soil. Rahane was removed as the vice-captain and was replaced by Rohit Sharma before announcing the squad for the series.
On Monday, December 13, Sharma pulled his hamstring and was ruled out of the Test series. He was replaced by Priyank Panchal and the selectors haven’t announced the vice-captain till now.
Rahane’s has had a horrendous with the bat as he averages around 20 including two half-centuries against England in the two different series. He also scored 46 against New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in June this year. Apart from this, he has struggled with the bat this year. He also struggled against New Zealand in the first game of the two-match series.
He got injured ahead of the second game in his hometown Mumbai. Meanwhile, Chopra believes that the Mumbai player must be the vice-captain of the team in the absence of Rohit Sharma.
Aakash Chopra bats for Ajinkya Rahane to be the vice-captain
“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,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
The former cricketer added that if Rahane is made the vice-captain, he shouldn’t be dropped from the team just after the first game.
“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,” the former cricketer added.
The 44-year-old also named his vice-captaincy options other than Rahane. He feels Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin can be the deputy for Virat Kohli in the longest format.
“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,” the 44-year-old opined.
The first Test of the series will start from December 26 in Centurion.