Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar
suggested Rishabh Pant as Test captain of India after former captain Virat Kohli
stepped down on Saturday following India’s 2-1 series
defeat against South Africa. India will next play a Test series at home in February-March.
Though India have several candidates who
can take up the Test captaincy role, Gavaskar, in conversation with India
Today, said Rishabh Pant should be named as the new Test captain. Asked why
Pant is his choice, Gavaskar said that he is an automatic pick in the team across formats and feels that the responsibility will only bring the best out
of him as a batter.
“If you ask me, I am still staying, I
would look at Rishabh Pant as next India captain.
“For one reason only, just like Rohit
Sharma was given the captaincy of Mumbai Indians when Ricky Ponting stepped
down, look at the change in his batting after that. Suddenly the responsibility
of being captain made him convert those beautiful cameos of 30s, 40s and 50s
into hundreds, 150s and 200s.
“I think that sense of responsibility
given to Rishabh Pant will help him score many more of that wonderful hundred
he scored at Newlands,” he added.
Gavaskar said like former India captain
Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, who managed the captaincy at a very young age, Pant
can also lead the Indian side.
“Yes, I am saying that. Tiger Pataudi
was captain at the age of 21 under adverse circumstances when Nari Contractor
was injured. Look what he did after that. He took to captaincy like duck to
water. I think what we have seen with Rishabh Pant as the captain of Delhi
Capitals in the IPL, I do believe he has the capability of taking Indian
cricket forward and making it a very exciting team to watch,” he added.
At present, India have Rohit Sharma, KL
Rahul and Risbah Pant as options for the role. While Rohit has recently been
appointed India’s white-ball captain, Rahul led India in a Test match in
Johannesburg against South Africa. Pant, on the other hand, proved his worth as
a captain when he managed IPL side Delhi Capitals.
“It’s going to be quite a debate as
far as the selection committee is concerned as to who should be taking Indian
cricket forward. First of all, it should be someone who is an automatic pick
across all formats of the game. Once that happens, it will be a lot
easier,” Gavaskar said.