4 Cricketers who could lead India in white-ball formats after Kohli

This current Indian team led by Virat Kohli has scaled remarkable heights across the three formats both at home and overseas conditions. The type of character he is, Kohli hasn’t failed in instilling the same qualities in his team as well and wants his side to be expressive at various facets of a game. With Kohli at the helm, the aspect is simple either win or lose, there is nothing between it. As the man has himself admitted that he will prefer seeing his side lose an encounter rather than them playing defensively and tying the game.

This aggressive and fearless approach towards any encounter has seen them dominate oppositions at their own den and achieve a stellar feat which no other team either of now or yesteryears has managed to do. The triumph in the 2018/19 Test series against Australia down under is a curious illustration of the same where the Indian team became the only side from the subcontinent to win a series in Australia. Likewise, the team has been belligerent and indomitable in the white-ball formats as well, but unfortunately don’t have any ICC titles to show against their name. Under Kohli, the Indian team finished as runners-up and semi-finalists at 2017 Champions Trophy and 2019 World Cup respectively. Kohli hasn’t led the team as yet at the T20 World Cup and the one to be played in India in 2021 will be his first assignment as a captain.

Having tasted success at different venues around the world, the question of which bothers us is that, what will happen once Kohli hangs his boots! The skipper himself and the management might have already casted a careful eye on some present cricketers and shortlisted a few of them for the future captaincy stint. In this piece, we look at 5 such options who could lead India in the limited-overs formats once Kohli retires:

1. Shreyas Iyer

India’s current no.4 in ODI cricket, Iyer has shown remarkable leadership qualities captaining his IPL franchise DC for two and a half years now. Under his captaincy, the team reached the play-offs in 2019 and maiden final in 2020.

Head coach Ponting was massively impressed by his temperament and lauded the decisions taken on-field as a skipper. In his view, he likes to keep things simple and doesn’t enter into too many discussions before an encounter.

He listens to the briefings given by coaches and senior players and backs his instincts to get the results in his favour. This simplicity in operation has helped him and DC big time and the results are now for everyone to see.

If provided with the opportunity to lead his country, Iyer will accept it without any second thought and put his best foot forward for the benefit of the team.

2.  KL Rahul

The Karnataka batsman as of now is the frontrunner in the race for captaincy. He has already showcased his class playing against the best in the business and isn’t afraid to take a risk if the situation demands so.

Captaining KXIP for the first time at IPL 2020, he did show some nerves and anxiety which was obvious emotion from a first-time captain. But once he settled into the role, he led from the front not just showering runs with the bat but handling his bowlers pretty well during crunch moments.

It was his inspirational captaincy which helped KXIP turn things around in the latter half of the tournament and kept them ahead in the race for a play-offs berth. Unfortunately, it couldn’t materialize in his maiden stint but gave us a fair idea of his calibre and temperament as a leader and provided assurance if he happens to lead India in the near future.

3. Shubman Gill

Believed to be the next big thing in Indian cricket, Gill hasn’t captained any side as yet. His coach at KKR, McCullum considers Gill as a crucial member of the core group and one suitable for leading the side when the time is right.

He is very young and naïve as far as his international career is concerned and there is a lot ahead for him to learn, explore and exploit. It is known that skipper Kohli has taken the youngster under his wings and teaching him some valuable lessons for drafting a phenomenal cricketing career.

By the time Kohli retires, Gill would have already become a popular and reputed face in world cricket, who will be eagerly waiting to receive the captaincy baton from Kohli, leading the team towards glory and scaling enormous heights.

4. Rishabh Pant

Just like Shaw, Pant’s budding international career has nosedived given his inconsistency and lack of effectivity coming lower down the order. He is looked upon as a successor to India’s most successful white-ball captain, MS Dhoni not just in the keeping aspect but captaining the side as well.

He is one of those few players, who has scored a century in England and Australia putting his aggressive self to the fore in both the innings. Once he gets going, there is no stopping Pant and then the opposition is up for their worst nightmare.

If he can keep contributing runs for the side on a consistent basis and masters the art of keeping, he may very well be thought of and discussed as a possible prospect for the captaincy stint, getting an opportunity to emulate the success and stellar achievements of his idol and crowd favourite, MS Dhoni!

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