In a bid to manage the workload of India T20I skipper and opener Rohit Sharma, the Chetan Sharma-headed selection panel is reportedly going to appoint Ajinkya Rahane as the skipper for the first of the two Test against New Zealand, starting November 25 in Kanpur.
Earlier, the selectors had decided to hand Virat Kohli rest in the first Test in Kanpur and now it was been decided on Thursday that Rohit will sit out of the entire Test series to manage his workload.
As per a report in Times of India (TOI), the decision was taken after the selectors met on Thursday.
TOI had earlier reported that four regular Test players — Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur — will also be rested in the two-match Test series against the Kiwis.
“According to sources, there was a lengthy discussion on the stand-in captain after Kohli had asked for rest in the first Test. There was a proposal to give Rohit the captaincy in the first Test and then give him rest for the second match in Mumbai,” the TOI report stated.
“However, after thorough analysis of Rohit’s workload, it was decided that the new full-time T20I captain needed to be given a longer break,” it added.
The decision comes in the wake of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI’s) new policy of providing break to the players who have been on national duties for almost six months.
Recently, India pacer Bumrah had complained of fatigue during India’s campaign at the ongoing T20 World Cup.
“You need a break. Sometimes you miss your family after being on the road for 6 months. All of that sometimes plays on the back of your mind. But when you are on the field, you don’t think about all of those things. You don’t control all of those things the scheduling and all and what tournament is played when,” Bumrah had said after India’s went down against New Zealand in the Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE recently.
“The BCCI also tried their best to make us feel comfortable … It’s a difficult time. There’s a pandemic going on, so we try to adapt but sometimes bubble fatigue, mental fatigue also creeps in. We tried to give us some cushion. We wanted to get extra runs that could give us an advantage in the second innings,” he had added.
After the first Test in Kanpur, the second and final Test will be held in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium from December 3.
After the home series against the Black Caps, Team India will fly to South Africa where they are scheduled to play three Tests, as many One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and four T20Is against the hosts from December 17.