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Australia v India

Rohit Sharma’s Test vice-captaincy appointment splits opinion among fans

Rohit vice-captain
Aadya Sharma by Aadya Sharma
@Aadya_Wisden 3 minute read

Less than 48 hours after joining the India squad in Melbourne, Rohit Sharma was named vice-captain for the remainder of the Australia Tests –  while some termed it a well-deserved appointment, others questioned the management’s call.

The 33-year-old batsman, who won his fifth IPL title as Mumbai Indians captain in November, had been racing against time to participate on the Australia tour, hurrying through rehabilitation, and then quarantine, to be fit for at least a part of the series. On December 30, he completed his two-week quarantine to be available for the third Test in Sydney and received a warm welcome from the team that had levelled the series 1-1 with their Melbourne win.

On January 1, BCCI, in a media release, announced that T Natarajan had been included in the Test squad as a replacement for the injured Umesh Yadav, and Shardul Thakur would fill in for the unfit Mohammed Shami. The concluding section mentioned that Rohit had “completed his quarantine and has now joined the Indian cricket team in Melbourne”.

The squad below had the rest of the story: next to Rohit’s name was the title ‘vice-captain’, and BCCI, in its typical way, had made an announcement without explicitly making one.

As expected, there was considerable buzz on social media – one side welcomed the move, supporting the decision to move Rohit up the hierarchy in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli, while the other side questioned the credentials of the batsman, who some feel, is yet to crack the Test code, at least away from home.

Many felt that the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravichandran Ashwin, who are more experienced than Rohit in the longer format, deserve to have been next in line for the role.

Others backed the management’s decision to bolster the leadership group in the absence of Virat Kohli, since Rohit, the most successful IPL captain ever, has been the vice-captain of the limited-overs teams.

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