Mumbai: Team India captain Virat Kohli has had a hectic year so far. After having led India to ODI and T20 series wins over England in January (both with a 2-1 win), he followed that up with yet another easy win over Bangladesh in the one-off Test. The Men in Blue then secured a series win against Australia in the four-match Test series in February.
After a disappointing IPL season, where Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore finished last with seven points, the Delhi cricketer led from the front as he took the Men in Blue to the ICC Champions Trophy final. The team eventually lost to arch-rivals Pakistan by 180 runs.
Five days later, Kohli once again led Team India to an away ODI series win over West Indies, but eventually lost to the World T20 champions in the one-off T20 despite a promising start in the match.
So, after a hectic season, should Virat Kohli be rested for the ODIs against Sri Lanka?
India have had it easy against Sri Lanka so far, having won both the Test matches quite convincingly. With the third Test set to be a dead-rubber, the Men in Blue could go ahead with a stand-in captain for the ODI series against Sri Lanka, keeping in mind a hectic home season ahead of them.
Possible candidates to replace Virat Kohli in ODIs against Sri Lanka.
The Mumbai batsman has not captained the Men in Blue in any format so far. However, he got promoted as India’s vice-captain during the ICC Champions Trophy in England this year, having scored two half-centuries and one century.
Despite not having captaincy experience in the international level, the 30-year-old led Mumbai Indians to the IPL trophy in May, after defeating Rising Pune Supergiant in the final. In fact, the victory against RPS etched Rohit’s name in the history books, as he became the first captain to lift the IPL trophy thrice.
If given captaincy, he will become India’s 24th ODI captain, the previous.
Ajinkya Rahane has had a fluctuating year so far. After having played just one of the three ODIs against England in January, Rahane did not play in any of the ICC Champions Trophy matches, despite having played the two warm-up games.
However, he came back strongly in the ODIs against West Indies, after scoring four fifties and one century. Rahane, though was only picked up as an opener due to first-choice opener Rohit Sharma’s injury.
The 29-year old has only had a small stint as a captain. The last time he captained India in ODIs was in a three-match series against Zimbabwe, where the Men in Blue whitewashed the African side 3-0.
Earlier this year too, Rahane was given the captain’s responsibility for the final Test against Australia in Dharamshala, and comfortably won the match by 8 wickets. With a 100 percent win record, Rahane could very well be the man that the selection panel looks up to, in a bid to rest Virat Kohli....