India Hit By COVID-19; Who Will Lead If Rohit Sharma Is Not Fit For Birmingham Test?

Leicester: Five days before the start of the rescheduled fifth Test against England, which had to be cancelled last year due to COVID concerns, the coronavirus has returned to bother Team India yet again.

Captain Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19 in a Rapid Antigen Test conducted on Saturday and has been placed under isolation in the team hotel, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed.

Rohit was a part of India’s warm-up game against Leicestershire, but didn’t bat on Day 3.

Rohit scored 25 in the first innings after winning the toss in a match which saw the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant playing for the English County side to ensure everyone got some playing time.

Rohit took the field on the second day also, as the visitors looked to warm up for the Birmingham Test, from July 1.

According to COVID protocol being followed in England, anyone contracting the virus has to isolate for five days and return to action provided he tests negative.

Rohit’s chances of leading England in the crucial one-off Test can’t be ruled out completely, but there are high chances of him not taking the field.

So who will lead Team India in such a scenario?

Virat Kohli is no longer captain in any of the formats, and is in the middle of a personal battle to rediscover his run-scoring form in international cricket.

KL Rahul could have stepped in, but he has been ruled out of the England tour with a groin injury. In fact, he was reported to have left for Germany to undergo a surgery.

Jasprit Bumrah will fancy his chances. He was in the mix when the selectors had to take a call on Kohli’s successor.

India’s pace spearhead had, in fact, said that he was ready to step into a leadership role, if asked.

Rishabh Pant, who captained India in the recent T20I series versus South Africa at home, could be considered as well.

If one had to identify a dark horse, it would be Hardik Pandya. Currently in Ireland to lead the white-ball Indian team in a T20I series, the allrounder can be called up at a very short notice. His leadership skills in IPL impressed one and all as Hardik piloted debutants Gujarat Titans to the title a month ago.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.