The Indian team will find themselves facing England in the fifth and final Test which is rescheduled for July 1 at Edgbaston, Birmingham. However, the Indian captain and skipper Rohit Sharma will probably not be participating in the game as he is still recovering and undergoing isolation after a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.
Sharma's uncertain participation in the series has impacted the team in several things, including finding a captain. BCCI did not allow the position to be designated vice-captain KL Rahul since he was not on the team because of his injuries.
As per reports, the team management might put Rishabh Pant, who led the team for T20Is against South Africa, and Jasprit Bumrah, who was in charge as vice-captain for the ODIs earlier this year as the candidates to lead the team since they had the experience before.
Virat Kohli as a candidate
Another possible candidate to fill the position is the former captain, Virat Kohli. As a senior player, Kohli would also like to play an important role in the victory in such a situation although he failed to reach triple digits in 4 Tests in England last year. England all-rounder Moeen Ali believes Kohli, who started last year, will fit to be the captain in Sharma's absence.
“It’s tough. I was thinking about it last night. Because Virat [Kohli] was the captain before this series last year, I’ll probably give him this one game. But obviously it’s his call,” he said.
The 35-year-old also said Kohli may refuse the offer as team captain. He thinks that Kohli is only focusing on his batting and has no interest in taking the duty of leading the Indians again. Nevertheless, Ali would choose Kohli if it was to be his choice.
“He probably wouldn’t want to do that. He’s happy, his mind is calm and saying ‘I’m never going to captain Test cricket again’. So that might be difficult too but yeah, I think it’s A good idea. He has got the experience and it is a big series for India.”
The Indians' expectation
In IPL 2022, former Team India captain Kohli indeed failed to deliver to expectations. However, the Indian team's head coach Rahul Dravid says he wants Kohli to lead the team to victory even if it’s not a century.
Dravid said that Kohli has no motivation or passion issues considering his great performance in leading the team to take 79 against South Africa in Cape Town. Kohli also successfully captained the team to win 2-1 in the series at Lord’s and The Oval.
As of now, India has played 7 Tests at Edgbaston and is trying to get their first win in 55 years. They have lost in the 6 Tests and 1 match was drawn. A challenging opponent like the English team would surely be ahead of the Indians in such a situation. In the recent 3-match series, India defeated New Zealand 3-0.
The standards Dravid sets are so high that people consider being a successful captain when the team reaches triple digits. He then stressed that from the point of view of a coach, he expects Kohli to contribute to the match-winning with a score of 50 or 60.