Opener KL Rahul is likely to lead Team India in the upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa if newly appointed skipper Rohit Sharma fails to recover in time, a report in Sports Today has suggested.
Recently, Rohit was named India’s limited-overs captain ahead of the start of the South Africa and was also named as the vice-captain of the Test side before a hamstring injury during a training session in Mumbai ruled him out of the Test series against the Proteas.
Rohit is currently at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru and working on his recovery however, as per Sports Today, the India’s limited-overs’ skipper might not make it in time for the ODI series as he might take 4-6 weeks to recover fully from the hamstring injury.
Earlier, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had said that Rohit might return in three weeks to lead the team in the ODI series, which is slated to begin on January 19, 2022.
However, the report by Sports Today has now suggested that he is unlikely to recover in time and Rahul might lead the team.
Notably, Rahul had made a brilliant start to the Test series against the hosts as he hit an unbeaten ton (122 not out) on Day 1 of the ongoing first Test in Centurion and became the only second Indian opener to score a century in the Rainbow Nation after Wasim Jaffer’s century in Cape Town in 2006-07.
In the recent past, Rahul was appointed as the vice-captainc in T20Is after Virat Kohli stepped down as the captain in the shortest format with Rohit taking over.
Before the start of the ongoing Test rubber, Rahul had said that his team is better prepared than their last tour of South Africa in 2018 and had expressed that coming in early for the Test series has helped for a good preparation against the hosts.
“We understand that in any foreign series, getting the team off to a good start is the most important thing as a batsman. Last time I came here was three-four years ago and it was my first tour to South Africa. So, I didn’t really know what to expect and how to handle these conditions. But this time around, having played two Test matches here before and having watched lots of videos on how the conditions are here, we are slightly better prepared than the last time,” Rahul had said in the virtual press conference.
“We have had a great preparation going into the Test matches and really excited about 26th. Hopefully, me and Mayank will get the team off to a good start and give the team a good platform to try and win the game,” he added.
Significantly, it is for the second time when Rahul is on South Africa tour after the 2018 one and the opener felt that the pitches will pose a challenge for his side.
“It’s the pace and bounce in the pitches here which are very different to any other country. That’s why I think it was important that we came here a bit early and try to get adjusted to the pitches,” he opined.
“We have had a great week of preparation and had a lot of sessions in the middle with match stimulations for batters and bowlers. We practised here with a lot of intensity and tried to get used to the conditions as best we can. We had a great week of preparation. Hopefully, we will have a great series here in South Africa this time,” he had added.