Earlier this week, the Indian men’s cricket team national selection panel led by chairman Chetan Sharma announced that Rohit Sharma has been appointed the Test captain. With the panel granting the captaincy duties in the longest format of the game, Rohit is now leading the side in all three formats.
However, being on the wrong side of his thirties, Rohit has got only a few years in the tank as playing all three formats takes an excruciating toll on the human body. Thus, the panel has also reposed the faith in Rohit to groom future leaders that include a certain ‘Jasprit Bumrah’. The question, ‘Can Bumrah become the next Team India captain?’ becomes even louder and given the circumstances, it appears highly likely that yes, he may don the captaincy hat in the future.
Chetan Sharma was quoted as saying after the announcement, “Rohit was the clear choice for us. We want to create leadership under him. As long as Rohit is fit and available, he will be the Test captain. We will give him rest whenever he or the team management or the medical staff gives us a directive. K.L. (Rahul), Bumrah, and Rishab have all worked as vice-captains, so we want Rohit to groom them as leaders.”
And it is indeed a right step by the selection panel. If India does not want to get caught in the lull of a transition period where several top teams have struggled in the past, it needs to plan today and plan now.
Bumrah, ever since bursting onto the scene courtesy of his heroics in the IPL has improved leaps and bounds, both as a cricketer and a human.
He made his international debut in 2016 against Australia in their backyard and since then, has not looked back. Bumrah is a player who wears his thinking cap all the time and has a good head on the shoulder — a required pre-requisite for becoming a captain.
I’d be honoured to be the captain: Jasprit Bumrah
Bumrah was appointed vice-captain of the Indian team for the South Africa ODIs, and recently during a press conference, the 28-year-old did appear tempted at the prospect of leading India.
Bumrah had remarked, “If given an opportunity, it will be an honour and I don’t see any player would say no and I am no different. Be it any leadership group, I always look to contribute however I can, to the best of my abilities,”
It’s a welcome change of perspective from an Indian cricketer that tend to be overly diplomatic when it comes to their plans. Bumrah fancies himself as a captain and it comes from the tremendous confidence he has in his abilities.
With IPL done with a mega auction for the foreseeable future, Bumrah could also step up in the franchise cricket. He has been Rohit’s understudy for a long time in the MI camp and has learned the secrets of the trade from close quarters. MI has retained Bumrah and fancy him as a future captain as well.
He has a good cricketing brain: Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma has already waxed lyrical about Bumrah’s capability and the cricketing brain he possesses. A day before the start of the limited over series against Sri Lanka, Rohit was quoted as saying, “It doesn’t matter whether it is a batter or a bowler. What matters is the cricketing brain and he (Bumrah) has a good brain. I know him well and I understand what kind of cricketing brain he has,”
The skipper further added, “Good for him to step into the leadership role. He has taken his game to the next level. I’m sure he would like to do this further. This role will add more confidence in what he’s going to do. It’s nice to have him as the vice-captain of the team,”
Bumrah has a long way to go and before the detractors come after him saying he is a bowler, who tend to break down and thus giving captaincy duties could be harmful should look at Australia appointing Pat Cummins as their captain.
Unlike other sports, Cricket has a huge role for a captain. The skipper can single-handedly change the flow of the game with his tactics and tweaks. Bumrah will have to remain at the top of his game to receive the captaincy duties as he has few other competitors in that department. However, if it comes to reading the game, no one comes near him.
Bumrah can be a shrewd choice who can lead the Indian side and groom the up-and-coming talent. And if by any chance, he was to take the mantle just now, no one would bat an eye and that explains the mettle of the man.