Rohit Sharma named
India’s new ODI skipper
and Test vice-captain


MUMBAI: Opening batter Rohit Sharma was on Wednesday named India’s new ODI skipper and the star player will take over from Virat Kohli starting the South Africa series in January next year.

Rohit was also named as India’s Test vice-captain as the All-India Senior Selection Committee picked an 18-member squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against South Africa.

Rohit Sharma

“The All-India Senior Selection Committee also decided to name Mr Rohit Sharma as the Captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward,” BCCI said in a statement.

The Test series which gets underway from December 26 will form a part of the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship.

“The following players were not available for selection due to injuries and are currently undergoing rehabilitation: Ravindra Jadeja, Shubman Gill, Axar Patel, Rahul Chahar,” read a statement from BCCI.

India’s Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Md. Siraj.

Standby Players: Navdeep Saini, Saurabh Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Arzan Nagwaswalla. 

The Indian cricket board’s removal of Virat Kohli as the One-day International (ODI) captain was inevitable when he refused to step down after a dismal T20 World Cup, local media said on Thursday.

The star batsman had relinquished his leadership of a T20 side who were eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup — anathema to fans in a country obsessed by cricket.

But Kohli sought to hold on to the ODI captaincy — a plan that came to an unceremonious end when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said late on Wednesday that Rohit Sharma would captain the one-day team on its South Africa tour.

“Virat Kohli refuses to step down, BCCI cracks whip,” the Press Trust of India said in a headline.

The BCCI had waited for the 33-year-old to leave voluntarily as ODI captain, but when he failed to, losing the position was “simply fait accompli”, it said.

Kohli was not informed about his “sacking” beforehand, the Indian Express said.

India went to the T20 World Cup as one of the favourites but crashed out after big losses to New Zealand and arch-rivals Pakistan.

India’s top-order failures in the two defeats — the loss to Pakistan was their first in a World Cup — raised questions about their preparation and leadership.

A terse line at the end of a BCCI statement announcing the Test squad for the upcoming tour confirmed that Sharma, 34, will now lead India in both white-ball formats.

“However great a player Virat Kohli is […] it is inevitable he will feel a sense of loss,” tweeted cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.