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IND vs SA | KL Rahul can captain India in future, feels Saba Karim

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Saba Karim is of the opinion that KL Rahul can captain India in future

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IND vs SA | KL Rahul can captain India in future, feels Saba Karim

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SportsCafe Desk

12/19/2021

Saba Karim has backed the decision of the selectors to appoint KL Rahul as vice-captain for the South Africa Test series, saying that the right-hand batsman has the ability to lead the national team in the future. Karim added that it is the right time to appoint Rahul as Virat Kohli's deputy.

The BCCI, on December 8, announced an 18-member Test squad for the South Africa tour, and as a matter of surprise, the selection committee named Rohit Sharma as India's full-time ODI captain. The Indian opener, who earlier succeeded Virat Kohli as the T20I captain of the national team, will now lead the Men in Blue in both limited-overs formats. The selection committee also appointed Rohit as Kohli's deputy in Test cricket, and the former was expected to begin his vice-captaincy stint during the red-ball series against South Africa. 

However, ahead of the South Africa tour, Rohit sustained a hamstring injury during the practice session in India, and was ruled out of the three-match Test series against the Proteas. Meanwhile, the BCCI has named KL Rahul as Kohli's deputy for the upcoming red-ball series against South Africa. 

Reflecting on Rahul’s appointment as vice-captain, Saba Karim reckoned that timing of BCCI's decision to appoint the right-hand batsman as Kohli's deputy and its timing is "perfect". 

"According to me, it is the right choice and the timing is perfect,” Karim told India News. “This is right because a lot of times, the selectors talk to the team management, what sort of feedback is coming from there, what is going on in their mind about who can prove to be a capable leader in the future and then only the decision is taken.

"It is good that the selectors have taken their time and then made the announcement that KL Rahul will be the vice-captain in the upcoming series. I feel captain Virat Kohli would also believe that in Rohit Sharma's absence.

KL Rahul has been in sublime form in the Indian Premier League in his recent outings, and the right-hander scored 626 runs in 13 matches at the IPL 2021 for Punjab Kings while leading the franchise. The Karnataka batsman led the Punjab-based franchise in 27 matches, winning 12 and losing 15 out of them. Karim opined that Rahul can captain the national side in the future. 

"KL Rahul is a player who can captain in the future. He has done fantastic captaincy in the IPL for the Punjab Kings, his performances have been good and KL Rahul is currently a multi-format player."

Former India cricketer Reetinder Singh Sodhi has also echoed with Karim, saying that Rahul’s appointment is a good decision by the selection committee. 

"KL Rahul being made the vice-captain is a very good selection,” said Sodhi. “He is an all-format player and in terrific form. He is captaincy material, he can captain for a long time. For now he is the vice-captain, so he is in line to become captain of Team India someday."

KL Rahul has so far 2,321 runs from 40 Tests at an average of 35.17, which includes six hundreds and 12 half-centuries. The first of three India-South Africa Tests will be played in Centurion, beginning December 26.

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