Sports Cricket 06 Jan 2017 Captain Kohli: Virat ...

Captain Kohli: Virat set to lead in all formats

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | IRFAN HAJI
Published Jan 6, 2017, 2:17 am IST
Updated Jan 6, 2017, 4:26 am IST
Virat Kohli
 Virat Kohli

Mumbai: Virat Kohli is set take full control of the Indian cricket team across all formats to carry forward the legacy of World Cup winning former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The selectors, who meet here on Friday to pick the squad for the three-match ODI series and T20I series against England are expected to name Test skipper Kohli as full time captain for the limited overs cricket as well.

Dhoni stepped down as ODI and T20I skipper on Wednesday. His decision may be unexpected but his timing was perfect, as selectors had given the signal that Kohli is ready to take over the leading role in the shorter formats as well.

Dhoni has made himself available to play under a new captain so he still remains the best bet as a wicket keeper-cum batsman. The selectors have a job in hands as many players are injured giving hope to fringe players to either make comeback or break into the Indian team.

BCCI’s Chief Executive Officer Rahul Johri is expected to perform the duty of the secretary of the Board in place of the sacked Ajay Shirke. Two key batsmen Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane who performed openers role in the New Zealand ODI series are injured, which may result in recall for Shikhar Dhawan, if fit. K.L. Rahul missed the ODI series against New Zealand due to an injury and he too can fill the slot of an opener.

Suresh Raina’s comeback in the ODI team will be on the table, though he is expected to make into T20 squad without much fuss. Cheteshwar Pujara is also keen to play limited overs and his form in Tests and in the ongoing DY Patil T20 Cup makes him a good candidate for discussion.

Key off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t feature in the Ranji Trophy knockouts for Tamil Nadu citing injury and selectors might not risk him. Ashwin who was rested for ODI series against Kiwis, played all five Tests against England along with left arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja and both may be rested for atleast one format. Spinners Jayant Yadav and Axar Patel have also been injured and their fitness remains a concern.

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