With Virat Kohli’s captaincy tenure in all formats coming to an end following his resignation from Test leadership, there are questions about who could be his long-term successor considering that Rohit Sharma will be 35 next year. “If given an opportunity, it will be an honour and I don’t see any player (who) would say no (to captaincy) and I am no different,” said Jaspreet Bumrah, who is KL Rahul’s deputy for the ODI series against South Africa, in reply to a question during a press conference ahead of the three-match ODI series against South Africa, starting Wednesday (January 19).
“Be it any leadership group, I always look to contribute however I can, to the best of my abilities,” he added. Bumrah said taking responsibility and helping teammates comes naturally to him.
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“I look at this situation in the same manner…taking responsibility and talking to players and helping them out has always been my approach and it will always be my approach going further keeping any situation in mind.”
‘Post doesn’t matter; My role remains same’
The India pace spearhead believes that there would be no tangible change in his role although he is the vice-captain now. “Having post or not doesn’t matter. I always focus on how I can contribute,” he said.
“For me, the role doesn’t change at all. I have to do my job first, isn’t it? Trying to contribute as much as I can and then helping KL if he needs any assistance on the field and sharing a bowler’s mindset on what kind of fields you can keep that I always look to do,” Bumrah said.
In fact, he has done all this and more even when he hasn’t been anointed the vice-captain.
“Even when I am not vice-captain, I try to talk to some of the younger guys, have a lot of discussions on what kind of fields that need to be set and the same role I will try to do that again as well.
“No specific role or added pressure I am going to take. Yes, helping KL in any way possible and trying to keep a calm head.”
‘I am here to help all in whatever way I can’
The Indian team management, following Virat Kohli’s complete exit from captaincy roles across formats, bears a new look but Bumrah doesn’t see “anything weird” and believes that one needs to respect the new set-up that’s in place and start moving ahead.
“I can’t speak for everyone but I can say that for me, it doesn’t really make much of a difference. I am here to help all in whatever way I can. All the players are responding to the changes that have happened and everybody is respectful and understand how the processes are going.” “Change is the only constant and we are happy everybody is contributing and we are getting (acquiring) a lot of knowledge and trying to contribute to that. I don’t think anybody is facing a problem or is in a weird space with the change that is happening,” Bumrah spoke for himself.
Acceptance is key and that’s what Bumrah expects from everyone.
“Everybody understands change and have played enough cricket to understand that this is the way the game goes and this is how you move forward. So everyone in the team is quite positive and eager to contribute.”
‘I love asking questions and welcome new perspective’
There is no fun if there is no responsibility, said Bumrah.
“If there is no responsibility or pressure, where is the fun? I look forward to fulfilling my responsibilities,” he said when asked how much he will have to mould himself for the new role.
“As a bowler, when I first came into the team, I used to ask a lot of questions and I asked as many questions as possible to the seniors and in this transition phase if anyone asks me questions, the younger lot, I share my experience with them, sometimes, their inputs also help.
“If a new guy comes in and gives a fresh perspective, we take that seriously.”
(With inputs from agencies)