Salman Butt
Salman Butt (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former Pakistan batter Salman Butt explained the reason why Virat Kohli wasn’t named captain of the ODI side after Rohit Sharma couldn’t make it to the squad for South Africa ODIs.

On Friday, India’s ODI squad for the three-match ODI series against South Africa was announced. KL Rahul was named the captain of the 18-member squad.

Rohit Sharma, who was named India’s new white-ball captain, wasn’t included in the ODI series as he hasn’t regained complete fitness from the hamstring injury he suffered during a training session in Mumbai.

KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma. (Photo: Twitter)

Virat Kohli will not lead this team any further: Salman Butt

Kohli stepped down from India’s T20I captaincy role after the completion of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 event in UAE. Last month the national selectors and top BCCI brass mutually agreed to not have two white-ball captains for the Indian team.

Subsequently, Rohit was named captain for both T20Is and ODIs and Kohli was left alone with just Test captaincy.

Butt cited the example of how MS Dhoni wasn’t named captain once he gave up the captaincy. The former Pakistan player explained why KL Rahul was given the reins to lead the team ahead of Kohli.

Virat Kohli will not lead this team any further. And when he is no longer going to captain the team, they will pick the vice-captain as the stand-in captain, who will lead the team in the future and also captained an IPL team. I don’t see the reason why they will not give him (Rahul) this opportunity,” Butt said on his YouTube channel.

MS Dhoni Virat Kohli T20 World Cup 2016
MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli. (Photo: Twitter)

This has been the pattern that Indian cricket has been following. Whenever there is a chance, they give youngsters the opportunity and hand him the responsibility to test him.

“So, I feel this is a good opportunity for KL Rahul. We saw this even during MS Dhoni’s time, whenever India were up against smaller nations, he used to hand the captaincy to youngsters and the team used to win. So this is their pattern and I feel this is a good way to judge a player by handing him the responsibility,” he added.

KL Rahul will use his IPL experience to lead India against South Africa in ODIs

KL Rahul had unofficially led India during their fifth T20I game against New Zealand in 2020. Rahul led India on the field as Rohit, who was then stand-in skipper for India, battled with a calf tear during his batting in the first innings.

Rahul also has experience of leading Punjab Kings for two seasons in 2020 and 2021 before he was released by the franchise.

The ODI series between South Africa and India will commence on January 19 at the Boland Park in Paarl followed by the second match on January 21 in the same venue. The final ODI will be played in Cape Town on January 23.

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