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Rohit Sharma capable of replacing Ajinkya Rahane and handling vice-captaincy role in Tests, says Ian Chappell

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Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma batting together in a Test match

| Courtesy - BCCI Twitter

Rohit Sharma capable of replacing Ajinkya Rahane and handling vice-captaincy role in Tests, says Ian Chappell

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SportsCafe Desk

09/12/2021

Ian Chappell believes that Rohit Sharma has the capability to become India's Test team vice-captain in case Ajinkya Rahane is dropped in future. Chappell also reckoned that Virat Kohli's highly successful team can be improved with the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing eleven.

Ian Chappell has backed Rohit Sharma to take up the role of Team India's Test team vice-captain in case Ajinkya Rahane is dropped in the future to include all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing eleven. 

The comment from Chappell comes after India's yet another succuessul overseas tour in the red-ball format. The Virat Kohli-led side registered thumping victories at The Oval and Lord's and were leading the 5-match series 2-1 when the final Test in Manchester was called off due to Covid-19 outbreak in the visiting side's camp. 

The 77-year-old reckoned that it was scary for the other sides to realise that "Virat Kohli's highly successful team can be improved". 

"Tweaking the Indian middle order to accommodate the skills of Ashwin should be a priority for the selectors. It's a scary thought for the other Test sides that Virat Kohli's highly successful team can be improved.

"The only downside (of adding Ashwin and Pandya) would be the loss of Ajinkya Rahane's tactical input and his slip fielding to the spinners. Nevertheless, Rohit Sharma is now an acclaimed captain and he's capable of handling the vice-captaincy role," Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

Chappell, who has been vocal in his admiration for the current Indian team, continued praising second ranked Test team and gave his opinion on what could be their best combination going forward. 

"There's no doubt that India are a very good all-round team. They have conclusively proved it by winning consecutive series in Australia and now having had success in England, albeit Covid-affected, while they are virtually unbeatable at home.

"However, that isn't to say they can't improve. That's how good teams remain at or near the top - by constantly searching for ways to be better," Chappell stated. 

"India's best combination includes R Ashwin. He is a fine bowler under all conditions, as he proved in Australia, so India need to find a way to fit him into the XI.

"In trying to find a balance between the right- and left-hand batters in the middle order at The Oval, they may have inadvertently stumbled on the solution - Ravindra Jadeja at No. 5. The ideal player would be a fully fit Hardik Pandya, but they do have a second choice in Shardul Thakur. That is the great strength of this Indian side. They have substantial depth," he further added. 

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