Rohit Sharma wants to be rested for the Test series against New Zealand, Ajinkya Rahane to lead in the first Test
In the absence of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane might be seeing leading India in a Test once again
Indian Test Captain Virat Kohli has already been rested for the T20I series against New Zealand as well as the first Test. In his absence, it was expected that newly appointed T20I captain Rohit Sharma will lead the side. However, with reports emerging that Rohit wants to be rested for the two Tests, Ajinkya Rahane might be given the reins of the side for the first Test in Kanpur.
On Thursday, the BCCI selectors sat for a meeting and according to a report by Times of India, they are also considering rest for Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Mohammad Shami, and Shardul Thakur for the Test series.
Because Kohli's request for rest had been communicated to the BCCI well in advance, there was also considerable discussion on who should be the stand-in captain for the first Test. The board wanted Rohit Sharma to take charge in the first Test and then be rested for the second Test. However, with the 34-year-old intent on skipping the Test series to manage his workload, the selectors will now have to look at Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane's form has been under the scanner for a long while now. While he is a fine captain who led India to a historic victory in the Border Gavaskar Trophy in Australia earlier this year, his personal returns with the bat have diminished. As a result, selectors didn't want to extend his privileges but with Kohli and Rohit unavailable for the first Test, their plans might have to be shelved for a while.
In the absence of regular wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha is expected to be behind the stumps. Meanwhile, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal might open the batting for India.