Former India national cricket team Batsman-wicketkeeper Saba Karim has questioned the appointment of senior batsman Ajinkya Rahane as Test team vice-captain ahead of top all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. He believes not considering Jadeja for the leadership role is quite shocking, as he is a regular member of the playing XI in all three formats.
On 23 June 2023, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India’s squad for the upcoming three-match ODI and two-match Test series against West Indies.
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Surprisingly, Ajinkya Rahane was named as the understudy to Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara was dropped from the squad. Notably, Rahane was dropped from the India squad after the South Africa tour in 2022 due to poor performance from him over a prolonged period.
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The 35-year-old Chennai Super Kings star was called up to the squad for the marquee World Test Championship final against Australia after several key batsmen were unavailable for the game due to their respective injuries.
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Although India lost the World Test Championship final against Pat Cummins & Co., Rahane impressed with his batting in both innings. In the first innings he scored a brilliant 89 runs when India was in trouble, and in the second innings he scored a fine 46 runs. The selectors found his striking in the high-profile game good enough and named him vice-captain of the Test team once more.
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He is equally capable of managing the national team: Saba Karim over Ravindra Jadeja
In an interview with Sportskeeda, Saba Karim said that Ravindra Jadeja is irreplaceable in India’s XI in all three formats and has the ability to lead the team.
“I don’t know why people don’t even talk about Ravindra Jadeja. He is an all-form regular for the Indian side as he has also had major contributions in India’s Test success. So how come he’s never been talked about as a leader? He is irreplaceable in all three formats for the national team and is equally capable of leading the national team.
“Or if it’s not him, then maybe Shubman Gill if the Indian selectors thought he was the future. I’m just saying there are some candidates,” Karim said.
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Saba Karim further said that the BCCI selectors handing the role of vice-captain to Rahane is quite strange as on one hand they are looking to the future by including the youngsters Yashasvi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad in the team and on the other other side. they have appointed a senior player as deputy to Rohit Sharma instead of grooming a junior for the leadership role.
“Even that is just as strange. When you look at the transition, when you choose youngsters like Yashavi Jaiswal and Ruturaj Gaikwad, why would you choose Ajinkya Rahane as vice-captain? What is the logic behind this? He made a comeback after being dropped from the Test side. He played a test match. He got it right, that’s perfectly fine.”
“But if you are looking for the future, if you want to build a team, if you want to groom a cricketer, why would you go back to Ajinkya Rahane? I mean, with all due respect to him and his capabilities as a leader, we need to think about grooming a young man who could have replaced Rohit Sharma in the future.”
Meanwhile, the first test between India and the West Indies will be played at Windsor Park in Dominica from July 12-16 and the second test will be held at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad from July 20-24.
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