India have not named a vice-captain for the last 2 Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
KL Rahul was the designated vice-captain in the first two Tests of the 4-match series even though his place in the side was under scrutiny.
However, he was demoted from the role following his ordinary showing in the first two Tests.
The star batter has scored only 38 in the first two Tests.
Former players, including Venkatesh Prasad, has been questioning why Rahul has been so many chances.
With a highest score of 23 in his last 10 Test innings, Rahul is no longer a certainty.
Despite this, India have taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead, retaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy but the job is far from done.
Rohit Sharma’s men need to keep winning in order to qualify for the World Test Championship final.
With Rahul’s place in the XI in doubt once again, former Indian cricketers have weighed in with their opinions about who should be made vice-captain.
According to Harbhajan Singh, Ajay Jadeja is the man.
He said Jadeja’s consistency with both bat and ball should be rewarded and that he is arguably the best all-rounder in recent times in whites.
“India don’t have a vice-captain. Who can be your next vice-captain?”
“I believe that a player who is captain or vice-captain should be a definite starter in the XI, regardless of whether you play in India or abroad.” Harbhajan said.
“I think that kind of a player is Ravindra Jadeja. I think the vice-captaincy now should be given to Jadeja because it will give him more responsibility.”
“I don’t think there is any all-rounder in the world who is better than Ravindra Jadeja. Ben Stokes is in that league, he is also a big-match player.”
“I think if you look at his performance, his batting has clicked. It seems as if he will score in every match.”
Jadeja’s numbers are certainly impressive.
He was out with an knee injury for close to 5 months. He suffered the injury in the Asia Cup in September and underwent successful surgery.
Jadeja did not rush his comeback and took his time before turning up for Saurashtra in a Ranji Trophy match in Chennai.
He made a strong comeback, picking up 17 wickets in the first 2 Tests, which included a 5-wicket haul.
The all-rounder has also scored 96 runs in 2 matches, chipping in with crucial knocks lower down the order.
Ex-BCCI selector Saba Karim also echoed a similar view that Jadeja should be considered for vice-captaincy.
Speaking about KL Rahul, Karim said, “Rahul’s performance has not been great and that’s why he has been removed from vice-captaincy. This does not mean that he will not be played in the XI.”
“This only means that you become the vice-captain, when your performance is good. Suppose the Indian team was losing, there would have been no hesitation in dropping KL Rahul.”
“But because the team is winning, and because the wickets are tough to bat on, Rahul will get few more opportunities,” Saba Karim said.
On the question of vice-captaincy, Karim said: “Several factors should be kept in mind while choosing the next vice-captain.”
“Age etc. because the guy has to lead India in the World Test Championship cycle. Currently, I feel there are two candidates – Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant.”
“But Jadeja’s workload is huge. Maybe the team management is waiting for Pant to regain fitness, after the accident that he suffered.”
India and Australia will meet in the 3rd Test in Indore from March 1.