The Indian team is likely to travel to Bangladesh with a new Test captain. Virat Kohli has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India to exclude him from the tour as he is keen on taking a break following a long cricket season, reports the Indian Express. It is learnt that the team is unlikely to include a head coach with the board yet to shortlist names for the role vacated by Duncan Fletcher. The tour to Bangladesh begins on June 10 with India set to play a lone Test and three ODIs.
Kohli replaced Mahendra Singh Dhoni as full-time Test captain after the long-standing skipper pulled the curtains on his career in the long format following the Boxing Day Test at the MCG last year.
But sources have informed The Indian Express that Kohli has already spoken to BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur about wanting rest once the Indian Premier League gets over.
Sources in the BCCI said that barring Fletcher, the rest of the coaching staff, who were there in Australia, are likely to be retained with Ravi Shastri set to remain as team director alongside Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar.
Kohli, though, is not the only senior cricketer with hesitations over touring Bangladesh next month. The BCCI senior selection committee headed by Sandeep Patil is scheduled to pick the squad on May 20, and it’s likely that they will go with a second-string outfit, an outcome that the Bangladesh Cricket Board is dreading.
‘Kohli has confirmed that he wants a break. Many senior players don’t want to travel to Bangladesh as they already have been touring a lot over the past one year. Few of them have requested for a break but the BCB wants at least some of the key players to be sent to Bangladesh as it will keep some interest alive with the TV viewers,’ a BCCI source said.
The source also confirmed that Fletcher’s replacement is unlikely to be named in the coming days. ‘We haven’t short-listed names of potential candidates who we think can coach the Indian team. The process is still in progress and it will take another month or so.’
Following the short tour to Bangladesh, India will travel to Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka over the next two months. But for now, it will be interesting to see who takes over from Kohli.
Ajinkya Rahane could be in the fray despite not having much experience of leading a team at the senior level, domestic or otherwise.
But there is no clear front-runner in the race yet. Cheteshwar Pujara, who returned to India after a stint with Yorkshire in the county circuit, has led India A on a few occasions but hasn’t been among the runs in international cricket of late.
Rohit Sharma has won an IPL with Mumbai Indians while Suresh Raina has led India in the ODIs, but neither have impressed enough in five-day cricket to be handed the responsibility of leading the Test team.
-With New Age input