Former Team India coach Ravi Shastri has opined on opening batter KL Rahul losing his vice-captaincy role in the ongoing Test series against Australia. The 60-year-old reckons that India doesn’t need a deputy, especially for home conditions, and instead must choose the best eleven.
While announcing the squad for the last two Tests against Australia after the fixture in Delhi, India did not appoint a deputy for Rohit Sharma. However, Rahul’s form hasn’t been the best either in the first two matches against Australia, with 20 being his highest score in three innings.
Speaking on the latest episode of the ICC Review, Shastri opined that it’s up to the team management, but believes that India doesn’t require a vice-captain for home games as they must pick the best team to beat the opposition.
“The team management will decide (the vice-captain). They know his form, they know his mental state. They know how they should be watching someone like Shubman Gill. I, for one, always had the belief (to) never appoint a vice-captain for India. I would rather go with by best XI, and if captain has to leave the field, you’d zero in on a player that can take over at the time, simply because you don’t need to create complications.”
The 80-Test veteran reckons that Rahul has all the talent, but should convert them into results.
“They will have to see form, his state of mind. He’s a tremendous player, but talent is only so much. You have to convert that into results and be consistent. There’s so much talent in India who is knocking the door. It’s not just KL Rahul, there are many in middle-order and bowling lineup as well.”
Despite his discouraging returns, head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma have backed Rahul. Dravid reckons that the right-hander must trust his processes and that they support him, given he has centuries in South Africa and England.
“If vice-captain doesn’t perform, someone can take his place” – Ravi Shastri
The former Indian all-rounder feels not having a vice-captain enables India to play their best side and that they are not forced into playing a non-performing player. Shastri added:
“If vice-captain doesn’t perform, someone can take his place; at least the tag is not there. I’m being blunt and brutal, I never like vice-captain in home condition. Overseas, it’s different. Here, you want prime form, you want someone like Shubman Gill, who’s red hot. He will challenge. He has to bang that door down and get into the side. Now, he’s not the vice-captain, it has to be team management’s decision.”
The third Test between India and Australia starts on March 1st in Indore.