New captain of Indian cricket team: Who will replace Virat Kohli as India’s new Test captain?

Dixit Bhargav
|Published January 15, 2022

New captain of Indian cricket team in Test matches: India will now have to name a new Test captain for a permanent basis.

India batter Virat Kohli stepping down as captain from Test cricket has sent shock waves in not just Indian cricket but the global cricketing fraternity. Kohli, 33, took to social media platform Twitter to make the announcement regarding him quitting from the Test leadership role.

Kohli, who had voluntarily stepped down as T20I captain before the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, was subsequently made to leave the leadership role in ODIs as well.

The development means that Kohli will be playing as a specialist batter after leading India in as many as 68 Tests, 95 ODIs and 50 T20Is. A 213-match captaincy career across formats for almost eight and a half years has seen India being led by their most successful captain.

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Kohli is eighth on the list of most international matches across formats as a captain behind the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni (332), Ricky Ponting (324), Stephen Fleming (303), Graeme Smith (286), Allan Border (271), Arjuna Ranatunga (249) and Mohammad Azharuddin (221).

New captain of Indian cricket team

It was just over a month ago that BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) had announced Rohit Sharma as India’s new ODI captain. Less did they know that they would have to announce a new Test captain in the following month.

Sharma, who was also named Kohli’s deputy in place of Ajinkya Rahane in Test cricket, missed the recently concluded Test series in South Africa due to a hamstring injury. As a result, new white-ball vice-captain Lokesh Rahul was named the vice-captain for Test series in South Africa.

With Kohli missing the second Test match in Johannesburg due to a back spasm, Rahul was promoted as India’s 34th Test captain. Rahul, who is also slated to lead India in a three-match ODI series in South Africa next week, is doubtlessly up the ranks when it comes to candidates for Kohli’s replacement as Test captain.

Technically, Sharma is higher up the pecking order than Rahul especially after being named the official vice-captain of the Test team when the squad for South Africa tour was announced.

Having said that, a primary concern with respect to Sharma leading India across formats is his fitness. Having developed an unwanted knack of getting injured frequently in the recent years, giving the reigns of the Indian team in all formats to Sharma involves risk in the form of further changes.

While BCCI haven’t announced a new captain of the Indian cricket team in Test matches for now, what follows is a fascinating period for a lot of people involved in Indian cricket.

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About the author

Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav

Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who is currently into his fifth year as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. His first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

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