Virat Kohli is currently the captain of the Indian team in all formats of the game and he is expected to continue for a few more years, but if he decides to reduce his workload and give up the captaincy in one format, here are the 5 players who could be India’s future captain:
#1 Rohit Sharma:
Rohit Sharma has already shown his captaincy credentials from time to time in the IPL and even in international cricket for India whenever he has got the opportunity in Kohli’s absence.
There is no doubt about the fact that Rohit is good enough to captain India in white-ball cricket on a permanent basis, but India’s performances under Kohli have been very consistent and the Indian selectors haven’t had any reason to change the captaincy yet.
However, if Kohli decides to leave the white ball captaincy, Rohit might have a chance.
#2 KL Rahul:
If Virat doesn’t opt to give up the captaincy and India continues performing well in white-ball cricket for another 4-5 years, Rohit might not be in consideration thereafter because he would be in his mid-thirties.
In that case, KL Rahul can be a good option. Rahul seems to be a good reader of the game and when he led the side in one of the T20Is in New Zealand in the absence of both Kohli and Rohit, he was excellent tactically.
#3 Ajinkya Rahane:
Rahane is not in India’s plans in white-ball cricket at the moment, but he is an integral part of the Test set-up. He has captained India in Test match cricket before and has done the job well.
Rahane was the one who handed Kuldeep Yadav his debut against Australia in 2017 and Kuldeep repaid his faith with a 4-for in the very first innings.
If Kohli decides to pursue the white ball captaincy and let go of the red ball captaincy instead, Rahane can take over. He is also the vice-captain of the Test team at the moment, so he is effectively the next in the pecking order.
#4 Ravichandran Ashwin:
Ravichandran Ashwin is another player who is very good in terms of how he reads the game. He hasn’t been given a leadership role in the Indian set-up yet, but he has captained Kings XI Punjab in the IPL for a couple of years and he seemed to be someone who was very instinctive with his decisions.
Ashwin can also be a candidate to succeed Kohli as India’s Test captain if Kohli decides not to continue with the Test captaincy in the future.
#5 Jasprit Bumrah:
Apart from Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah is the only player whose place in India’s LOI squads is absolutely certain at the moment. However, India hasn’t had a culture of giving the captaincy to specialist bowlers.
Anil Kumble captained India for a brief period of time and he was an excellent captain, but apart from him, India’s hasn’t too many captains who were specialist bowlers.
However, specialist bowlers have captained other countries at the international level and Jasprit Bumrah, because he is temperamentally so good and has got a great knowledge of the game, can be worth a try in the captaincy role at some point if an opportunity pops up.