Next month, India will kick off the 2023-2025 World Test Championship cycle with two Tests against the West Indies in the Caribbean. Taking this into account, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced a 16-man Test squad that includes new faces such as Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Mukesh Kumar.
The notable absences of Cheteshwar Pujara and Umesh Yadav have been a major talking point. Another point of contention has been Ajinkya Rahane’s re-election as India’s Test vice-captain. After being out for over a year due to poor form, the Mumbai batter returned to the Indian Test side for the World Test Championship final.
While India was defeated in the final by Australia, Rahane was the only Indian batter who performed admirably in both innings, scoring 89 and 46 points, respectively. Following his impressive comeback, India’s vice-captain for the West Indies Tests has been named.
Chopra acknowledged Rahane’s great comeback story, but also pointed out that India’s No. 5 batter has only played one game, and it should not be forgotten that he was dropped for poor performance.
“If you think from Ajinkya Rahane’s viewpoint, you will say – never give up, never say never. The world had written him off. He was India’s best batter in the WTC final. He made a comeback at 35 and he is now the vice-captain of the side, which is a beautiful story,”he said in a video on his YouTube channel.
“Is it a step looking forward or not? I am not 100% certain. Ajju (Rahane) is also not getting younger by the day. If we are saying this about Pujara, we will have to say this about Ajju as well. He had one good match but let’s not get carried away because you had dropped him based on performances over two-three years.”
He proposed Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as potential candidates for Test vice-captaincy for India. The former India opener stated that one of the team’s two spinners will always be present. According to Chopra, if Ashwin plays, he could be the vice-captain, or Jadeja could take his place.
“I have another opinion. If you have left out Cheteshwar Pujara because of his average of 29.69 and if you have made Ajinkya Rahane the vice-captain with an average of 26.50, could Ravichandran Ashwin not have been made the vice-captain?
“Otherwise, you could have made Ravindra Jadeja because at least one of the two is definitely going to play. You could have made Ashwin the vice-captain – he is going to be there. If he doesn’t play, Jadeja will definitely play, he doesn’t get dropped at all. So why not one of the two? Personally, I would have thought that way,”he said.