The 5th test of India vs England is all set to begin from 1st July. It has already been overshadowed by a string of COVID-19 cases which hit both the Indian and English camps. 

Also Read: India vs England 5th test: Records, stats and pitch report

Sam Billings will take Ben Foakes’ spot in the England XI as a like-for-like substitute after the latter tested positive for the virus. At Headingley, Foakes will be sidelined for the remainder of the third Test against New Zealand. Meanwhile, the Indian captain Rohit Sharma has tested positive for COVID-19.

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However, the skipper has not been ruled out of the Edgbaston test. If the same procedures are followed as for the current England-New Zealand series, Rohit will stay in isolation at the team hotel for a total of just five days.

In the case he is unavailable to lead the Indian team, here are the few possibilities of players who may take up the role of the stand-in captain:

1. Jasprit Bumrah: This is the most logical choice. After all, he was the Indian vice captain. Bumrah could succeed the late all-rounder Kapil Dev as the first pacer to captain India in a Test match in 35 years. He has led India’s pace attack in every format, and in the Edgbaston Test, he may get to lead the team as a whole.

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2. Virat Kohli: The next best choice would be to appoint Kohli as the stand-in skipper. His record speaks for himself. The 33-year-old has been by far the most successful skipper for India in overseas conditions.

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2. Rishabh Pant: The wicketkeeper-batter cannot be taken out of equation. Pant may be selected if the team management believes that giving Kohli the added responsibility of captaining the team in a crucial Test match may have an adverse affect on his performance.

Recently, Pant led India’s T20I team against South Africa at home. Despite falling behind 0-2 in the five-match series, he rallied his team to tie it 2-2. The series reached the fifth and final game, which was abandoned due to rain.