Last Updated: June 18, 2023, 10:40 AM IST
With India starting their next ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle with the West Indies tour next month, questions are being asked about the direction in which the team is headed towards as far as red-ball cricket is concerned. The likes of Ravi Shastri have called for ‘hard calls’ to be taken to secure the future which puts into doubt the future of several senior members of the current squad.
Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane have been India’s Test mainstay for some time now and the ageing superstars will soon have to make way for the younger generation.
Rohit, the current Test captain, will be 38 by the time the ongoing WTC cycle ends. So will it be prudent for him to continue into the role?
Former India opener turned commentator Aakash Chopra says while there’s no issue with Rohit’s credentials as a captain but he’s not quite sure whether the team management will be willing to continue with him two years from now.
“Rohit Sharma is a good captain. That is out of the question, understands the pulse of the game, doesn’t make common mistakes. He’s very decent,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Chopra said it’s obvious why questions are being asked about India’s playing XI for the WTC final against Australia and the kind of pitches they are used to playing at home.
“The question is not about Rohit Sharma’s captaincy. It’s about playing XI (for the WTC final). The next question is on the type of pitches they play at home. See, all these decisions are taken by the team management. I am sure Rohit Sharma would’ve been part of the think-tank when Virat Kohli was the captain. Now Kohli will also be part of that group too. However, the responsibility lies with the one who goes for the toss. The focus now is on Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid like it was before on Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri. This is the sad reality,” Chopra said.
Rohit along with several other senior players who play all three formats, have taken breaks but Chopra thinks it won’t be possible anymore.
“When we look two years into the future, in 2025, Rohit Sharma could still be playing Test cricket if he really wants to play Test cricket. Committing for six series is a long time. He has missed cricket in the past but today where Indian cricket stands, I don’t think he will be allowed as many breaks,” Chopra said.
“Rohit is a good captain, a good Test batter but will the future be the same, I’m not a 100 per cent certain. Two cycles, two finals, you haven’t won once. Age is also not on his side. This is the sad reality,” he added.