I would look at Rishabh Pant as next India captain: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar

Virat Kohli, on January 15, gave the Test captaincy for India after the series loss to South Africa and former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has suggested Rishabh Pant’s name as his successor. The wicket-keeper batter did a decent job for the Delhi Capitals in his first stint as captain in IPL 2021 and took the team to the playoffs. The 24-year-old has received a lot of praise already and is seen as a captain in making.

However, it will be tough for Pant to get the nod ahead of someone like Rohit Sharma who has been the vice-captain in limited-overs captain for a long time. Also, KL Rahul led India in the second Test against South Africa and he is another contender for the role.

Ahead of the tour to South Africa India had sacked Ajinkya Rahane from the vice-captaincy role with Rohit Sharma replacing him. Rahane would have been the automatic choice for Test captaincy if he had been in form considering that India is yet to lose under him in 5 Tests.

Responsibility will help Rishabh Pant score more – Sunil Gavaskar

Meanwhile, Gavaskar who captained India in the 1970s, wants India selectors to make Pant the next captain and revealed the reason for it with the best example of Rohit for the Mumbai Indians. Ever since Rohit took over the captaincy for Mumbai in 2013, he has won five IPL titles and is the most successful captain in the history of the tournament so far. Gavaskar also opined that Pant will be able to play a lot more big innings if he is given the responsibility.

“If you ask me, I am still saying, I would look at Rishabh Pant as next India captain. For one reason only, just like Rohit Sharma was given the captaincy of Mumbai Indians when Ricky Ponting stepped down, look at the change in his batting after that. Suddenly the responsibility of being captain made him convert those beautiful cameos of 30s, 40s and 50s into hundreds, 150s and 200s. I think that sense of responsibility given to Rishabh Pant will help him score many more of that wonderful hundred he scored at Newlands,” Gavaskar told India Today.

Gavaskar went on to give another example of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi who took up the captaincy for India at the young age of 21 and it paid dividends as well. He is quite convinced that Pant had the credentials to take Indian cricket forward and make it count.

“Yes, I am saying that. Tiger Pataudi was captain at the age of 21 under adverse circumstances when Nari Contractor was injured. Look what he did after that. He took to captaincy like duck to water. I think what we have seen with Rishabh Pant as the captain of Delhi Capitals in the IPL, I do believe he has the capability of taking Indian cricket forward and making it a very exciting team to watch,” Gavaskar added.