Virat Kohli’s decision to step down as Team India’s T20I captain on Thursday (September 16) has created a place for Rohit Sharma in the top. Does this mean an automatic promotion for Karnataka batsman K.L. Rahul as the vice-captain?
Cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar suggested that BCCI should make Rahul the vice-captain for the time being and groom him for the captainship in future.
“If India are looking to groom a new captain, then K.L. Rahul can be looked at. He has performed well. Even now in England, his batting was very good. He has been performing well in IPL and 50-overs cricket as well at the international stage. He can be made vice-captain,” said Gavaskar in an interview.
Rahul is only 29 years old, but he has already proved his mettle by giving outstanding performances in all the three formats of the game – Test, ODI and T20I. The Karnataka wicket-keeper batsman has come a long way since his debut in the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne in 2014. Accidentally, Rahul had replaced Rohit Sharma then to bag a place in the team.
Rahul is the only Indian batsman to hit a 100 on his ODI debut, which came against Zimbabwe in 2016. He is only the third Indian to score a century in all three formats of international cricket after an unbeaten 110 against West Indies in a T20 match.
In IPL, Rahul first played under Virat Kohli for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2013. In the next season, he played for Sunrisers Hyderabad, before returning to RCB for the 2016 season.
In 2018, he went to Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) and was named the team captain for the 2020 season. That year he won the Orange Cap for scoring most runs (670) in the entire season.
Rishabh Pant, another promising wicket-keeper-batsman, is trying hard to cement his place in Team India. He can be seen as a tough competition for Rahul. Pant captains Delhi Daredevils in the 2021 IPL season.
As the IPL 2021 sets to resume, Rahul would be looking forward to win the coveted trophy for his team.