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India Test Squad For New Zealand Series: Ajinkya Rahane or Rohit Sharma – Who Will Lead in Virat Kohli’s Absence?

Who will be the Test captain? (AFP Photo)

With Virat Kohli likely to be rested for the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur, the selectors are pondering over whom to give the captaincy.

  • Last Updated:November 11, 2021, 12:18 IST
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The Indian Test squad could be named in a couple of days with the selectors brainstorming over whom to hand over the reins in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli who is likely to be rested for the series opening Kanpur Test against New Zealand later this month. Kohli, along with several other senior members of the Test team, will be given a much needed break having been part of various bio-bubbles since April this year.

With Rohit Sharma being appointed the captain of India’s T20I team, the team think-tank is pondering whether he should also lead in the Kanpur Test despite Ajinkya Rahane being the designated vice-captain. A major reason behind this is Rohit’s ever improving credentials as a leader with few even suggesting he should lead across formats with Kohli being left to focus on his batting alone.

In the past when Kohli has missed a Test, a rare occurrence, Rahane has filled into his shoes. But his indifferent form with the bat combined with Rohit’s stature means the latter could very well be handed over the captaincy for the first Test set to be played from November 25 at the Green Park stadium of Kanpur.

With a report claiming that the BCCI has taken the lead in managing the workload of players following concerns raised by Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and new head coach Rahul Dravid, several Test regulars could be missing from the squad for the two-Test series.

The likes of Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur could be rested. However, Kohli will likely return for the second and final Test to be played in Mumbai and take over the captaincy.

Following the New Zealand series, the India squad is set to leave for South Africa in the second week of December.

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