New Delhi, Dec 08 (PTI): Virat Kohli was on Wednesday removed as India’s ODI captain with the national selection committee making Rohit Sharma the sole white-ball leader of the team till the 2023 50-over World Cup.
In another significant development, Ajinkya Rahane was removed from Test vice-captaincy, a position which was also given to Rohit. Along with the returning Rohit, who sat out the New Zealand Test series to manage his workload, KL Rahul too returned to the squad – an 18-member outfit for the Tests; the ODI line-up will be named later – along with Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. As reported earlier, none of Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Shubman Gill were considered for selection because of injuries.
Jayant Yadav, who impressed during his Test comeback after four years, retained his place as the second frontline spinner behind R Ashwin. Shardul Thakur, who was given a break for the home series against New Zealand, was also back in the mix in the squad that has six fast-bowling options to go with the two main spinners.
India’s middle-order bears a familiar look with all of Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane retained from the line-up that played the Test series against New Zealand. But Jadeja’s absence has possibly opened up a spot in the batting order, which could be filled by the returning Hanuma Vihari, with Pant, possibly, taking back the main wicketkeeper’s position from Wriddhiman Saha. Meanwhile, with both Rohit and Rahul back, Mayank Agarwal could move back to being the reserve opener, a slot that has seen a lot of competition of late, especially with all of Abhimanyu Easwaran, Priyank Panchal and Prithvi Shaw being among the runs on the ‘A’ tour. Agarwal finished the Mumbai Test with a Player-of-the-Match performance, leading India’s batting with 150 and 62 in India’s victory that helped them take the series.
Squad: Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj.
Standby Players: Navdeep Saini, Saurabh Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Arzan Nagwaswalla.
End of Kohli’s stint as India’s white-ball captain
Rohit’s elevation to ODI captaincy officially brings an end to Kohli’s tenure as white-ball captain, one he took over full-time in January 2017. While his record as such makes for excellent reading – of the 60 captains to lead in 50 or more men’s ODIs, only three have a better win-loss record than Kohli – India failed to win an ICC tournament under him; they finished runners-up at the 2017 Champions Trophy and were losing semi-finalists at the 50-over World Cup in 2019. In Kohli’s only T20 World Cup as captain, last month in the UAE, India crashed out after the group stage following back-to-back losses to Pakistan and New Zealand.