5 Indian cricketers who have potential to replace Virat Kohli as captain in tough times

Virat Kohli is doing wonders with the Indian Team since the time he has taken over the captaincy, but, who is the fittest to replace him in tough times?

Captaincy of the Indian Cricket Team is not an easy job. The captain not only has to perform his role in the squad of playing XI but also needs to envision the field as a game of chess and counter every move of the opposition.

A great player does not necessarily turn out to be a great captain. Sometimes leadership comes naturally to players, and sometimes seeds are sown at a young age when they captain an Under-19 or Under-17 team. For example – India’s cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, despite proving his excellent batting calibre, had to step down from the captaincy post after showing ineffective leadership skills. On the other hand, there was Sourav Ganguly – a fearless captain who did cower away from taking risks. And of course who can forget MS Dhoni who rose to fame in no time and ended up establishing the legacy of a legendary team.

As of now, Virat Kohli is leading the Indian side and seems to be doing a fantastic job. Since he became the captain, India have done well in almost all the tournaments, either being runner ups or reaching the semi finals of major tournaments, if not scoring wins. They are currently ruling the Test cricket with 8 series win on the trot (including the one currently against Sri Lanka).

Even if a team might seem to outperform others, it always is on the lookout for a backup captain in case the leadership needs to have a change. Though Kohli does not strike as somebody who would quit soon, following the mantra of ‘prevention is better than cure’, here is a list of few potential captains who might replace Kohli when the going gets tough:

1. Rohit Sharma

At one point of time, Rohit Sharma was considered as irresponsible by many. Rohit proved his critics wrong when he led the Mumbai Indians (MI) to their third title win in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017.

Seems like Rohit not only possesses batting skills but leadership skills as well. The 30-year-old is very much in contention to become the next captain in case Kohli stumbles or gets injured like he did in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2017. The only factor against him is the uncertainty of him being included in the Test team.

2. Ajinkya Rahane

Rahane can be categorised as an underrated and underutilised captain. He is generally the one team looks up to when the captain is not on the field. The 29-year-old did well in Kohli’s absence during Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Rahane led India during Ranchi Test when Kohli suffered from the shoulder injury and left the field. He also led the team in the tiebreaker at Dharamshala, helping India win another Test series win and maintain their win streak.

Rahane was also the go-to captain for Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) in IPL 2017 when skipper Steven Smith was away on a vacation. Being cool and calm-headed makes his leadership distinctive but effective.

3. Ravichandran Ashwin

Ashwin is one of the veterans of the Indian side and a player who features in the team across all formats of the game. The all-rounder is considered to be cool on the field and helps the youngsters as well when playing for respective IPL and TNPL teams, often being their mentor.

Ashwin has the right blend of aggression and calm, which favours him to be a captain. His record also conveys that he is here to stay in Indian team at least for a few years.

4. KL Rahul

Rahul is one of the rising stars of Indian Cricket team. He is on his way to becoming a regular on the side. Rahul changes his game according to the need of the hour. He does not always attack or defend, but likes to lead from the front and has played a few decisive innings in his career so far.

Though it cannot be said that he is ready for the job right now. He can be groomed into a player who can lead the Indian side in the future.

5. Hardik Pandya

The youngest cricketer on the list of potential future captains for the Indian team is the 23-year-old player who got selectors’ attention with his all-rounder talent. He has already been compared to Ben Stokes and former all-rounders like Lance Klusener, Shane Watson, Abdul Razzaq and others.

Pandya is a fast learner and on his way to becoming a mature cricketer. He is mostly modest and tries to keep his emotions in check (with an exception of the runout with Ravindra Jadeja).