After India announced their 16-member T20I squad for the upcoming home series against New Zealand, Sunil Gavaskar has stated that KL Rahul has been marked as a future leader by the selectors. He further warned Rohit Sharma that leading the national team is different from captaining the franchise.
The BCCI on Tuesday announced India's 16-member squad for the upcoming T20I home series against New Zealand. India's trusted opener Rohit Sharma has been named as the Men in Blue's new T20I captain, whereas KL Rahul have been appointed as the vice-captain of the national team in the shortest format. Notably, senior players like Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya have been rested for the series.
Speaking on KL Rahul's new role as India's vice-captain in the T20I format, Gavaskar reckoned that the selectors are looking at the Karnataka-born cricketer as the future leader of Team India.
“KL Rahul has been marked as a future leader by the selectors. He has been the captain of Punjab Kings in the IPL and, above all, he plays in all 3 formats for India. I think Rahul playing in all three formats is the reason why he has been elevated to the role of vice-captain," Gavaskar said.
Reflecting on the appointment of Rohit Sharma as India's new T20I captain, former India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has stated that it will be a new beginning in Indian cricket under the leadership of Rohit.
“Rohit Sharma is absolutely ready to carry the baton forward. It is a new beginning for Indian T20 cricket under the leadership of Rohit," Gavaskar said to India Today.
Rohit has an impressive record captaining his IPL team Mumbai Indians, and the national team. The 34-year-old led the Mumbai-based franchise to five IPL titles, whereas Team India won Nidahas Trophy and Asia Cup in 2018 under Rohit's leadership.
However, Gavaskar is of the opinion that Rohit’s successful captaincy in IPL does not guarantee him international success. He further added that leading a national team is completely different from captaining the state team or franchise.
“Generally, a captain is only as good as his team. I know Rohit has won five IPL trophies under his captaincy but leading a national team is completely different to leading your state team or franchise.“Just like a good first-class cricketer, he doesn’t necessarily turn out to be a great international cricketer. It goes to the captains also, no matter how many titles you have won for your state team or franchise, it doesn’t guarantee success at the international level," he explained.
India’s home series against the Blackcaps which is scheduled to begin on November 17 will also be the first assignment for Rahul Dravid as India head coach.