Former India off-spinner Pragyan Ojha picked three players who can lead the national team on the limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka in the absence of Virat Kohli, who will be taking his Test side to England for a series in July.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly confirmed earlier this week that a separate Indian squad comprising only the white-ball specialists will be sent to Sri Lanka in July while Virat Kohli will lead the Test side in the five-match series in England.
India’s white-ball teams therefore, will need a captain for the 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is in Sri Lanka.
Ojha backed either one of Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul or the veteran Shikhar Dhawan to captain India in Sri Lanka, saying that the selectors should look at someone who can be the future leader of the national side whenever Kohli’s stint comes to an end.
“When you talk about a new team, you need a guy who has experience. If Shreyas Iyer or KL Rahul is available then one of these two guys can be the Indian captain or if Shikhar Dhawan is there.
“Out of these three guys you can have one because your captain has to be experienced to handle things. But if you ask me, I can think out-of-the-box at times when you can give a new team and try to build a new captain. Someone who is young and can be your next captain in the years to come, this (SL tour) is a great opportunity.
“This used to happen with the India A team, lot of people who captained that team went on to play for the country. It’s a great responsibility when you are thinking out-of-the-box, this is not a conventional thought,” Ojha told Sports Today.
“One team is playing Test cricket in England, the other one is playing limited-overs formats in Sri Lanka which is out-of-the-box thinking. You can also do out-of-the-box thinking about players who can be a leader in the future, I’m talking about people like Shreyas and Rahul.
“Shikhar can contribute as a player but when you look at the leadership qualities, especially from this tour you need someone who can be built for the future. I feel India needs someone who can give the team at least 7-8 years of cricket and be the next captain in the years to come,” he added.
Kohli is likely to depart with the Indian Test team either at the end of this month or in the first week of June to play the ICC WTC final against New Zealand at the Rose Bowl in Southampton from June 18. They will then face England in a five-match Test series in Nottingham, London, Leeds and Manchester from August 4.