Sunil Gavaskar backs Rishabh Pant to succeed Virat Kohli as Test captain

 Sunil Gavaskar backs Rishabh Pant to succeed Virat Kohli as Test captain

Rishabh Pant (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar wants Rishabh Pant to be the new Test captain of the Indian cricket team after Virat Kohli’s departure. Gavaskar feels that Pant will become a better cricketer after receiving the responsibility of leading the Indian team.

On Saturday, Kohli announced his decision to step down as Test captain. In his Tweet, Kohli mentioned how he led the team for seven years with a vision. He went on to thank BCCI, Ravi Shastri and MS Dhoni for their support. Shastri was there as the head coach during Kohli’s tenure. Kohli replaced Dhoni as the captain of the Test side in 2015 after the latter announced his retirement from Test cricket. The BCCI have a quite a few contenders for leadership, including Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. However, Gavaskar wants BCCI to hand over the reigns to Pant.

“It’s going to be quite a debate as far as the selection committee is concerned as to who should be taking Indian cricket forward. First of all, it should be someone who is an automatic pick across all formats of the game. Once that happens, it will be a lot easier,” Gavaskar told India Today.

“If you ask me, I am still staying, 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,” he added.

Gavaskar cited Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi’s example, who was appointed the captain of the Indian team at the age of 21 years. Pataudi went on to achieve laurels for the Indian team.

“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.”


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