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Always insisted that India should never appoint vice-captain at home: Shastri

Last updated on 26 Feb 2023 | 05:51 AM
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Always insisted that India should never appoint vice-captain at home: Shastri

Ravi Shastri also reckoned that it is tough for someone like Shubman Gill to get a look-in

KL Rahul, who was India’s vice-captain till the second Test is going through a rut, one where his place in the Indian side is questioned having averaged just 15.90 since the start of 2022. Not just that, since his hundred in South Africa, the right-hander has blanked in most of the innings, including at home in the two Tests thus far against Australia. 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had not mentioned VC next to Rahul’s name leading to a lot of debate. Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri jumped on the bandwagon, stating that he always believed India shouldn’t appoint a vice-captain. Shastri also opined that the management should be watching someone like Shubman Gill for the opener’s position. 

“The team management will decide (the vice-captain). They know his (Rahul's) 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.” Shastri said on the ICC Review podcast.

At the same time, however, Shastri added that it is pertinent that team India have a vice-captain in overseas Tests. Last time when India toured Australia, it was the deputy of the team, Ajinkya Rahane, who led the side to a famous 2-1 win, including winning at Gabba. 

“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,” Shastri further said.

The former Indian coach also pointed out that ‘talent’ can do only so much, and it remains to the player to convert the talent into consistent results. Shastri also in the most puzzling fashion mentioned that there are many in the middle-order and bowling line-up too but refused to name the players. 

“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,” said the former India head coach.

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