By naming Rohit Sharma as the ODI skipper and Test vice-captain for the next tour of South Africa, the national selection committee, led by Chetan Sharma, has put out its vision for leading Indian cricket forward in the next two years. While the selectors have decided to keep off-colour veterans like Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, and Cheteshwar Pujara in Test cricket, and have elevated Rohit to a major leadership role across formats, the bigger picture is to groom the younger generation for important and leadership roles.

The spotlight in this situation has switched to who will be named vice-captain in the ODI format. KL Rahul is the obvious choice right now, but it has been revealed that the selectors are contemplating wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant as the next long-term captain.

“It’s critical to strike a balance. The pickers aren’t designed to make big adjustments. However, the team’s administration and selectors want to give younger players more vital responsibilities in the future. Pant is clearly considered as a crucial component of the leadership group,” a source close to the selectors told TOI. “However, Rahul is the favourite for the vice-captaincy in ODIs because he is already Rohit’s deputy in T20Is.” On December 4, the TOI claimed that Rohit will take over as Test vice-captain from Rahane, and on Tuesday, it reported that Ishant, Rahane, and Pujara will all travel to South Africa. The selectors postponed the ODI team selection but named Rohit as captain so that he could attend the next selection meeting.

“Rohit needed to know what his role was. There aren’t many ODIs left before India’s 2023 World Cup, and he’s focused on developing the next generation of leaders. Virat Kohli, too, was aware of the scenario, according to a source. In terms of the Test team, rather than providing a shock, the plan is to gradually phase out the seniors. The goal is to make the most of their experience in order to better prepare the next generation. You can’t just throw the kids into the deep end without warning. The juniors will be able to play alongside the seniors, and as they acquire experience, they will be able to take on more duties. And for their services, these three veterans (Rahane, Pujara, and Ishant) deserve a longer rope. With their experience, they can yet turn things around,” the person noted.