Edgbaston, June 26 – The Indian team management, the selectors and even the BCCI are not in a hurry to name a stand-in captain in place of Rohit Sharma, who has tested positive for Covid and gone into isolation, before the Edgbaston Test against England, beginning here on July 1.
All the concerned stakeholders seem to be biding time to assess how things pan out for the visitors in the next couple of days.
Not only as a skipper, but Rohit also plays an important role as the opener of the team. So, understandably there were discussions at different levels on whether a replacement needs to be rushed to England, with only one opener in Shubman Gill currently available in the squad.
According to a report in Cricbuzz, the final decision on Rohit’s replacement has not yet been taken but there may be efforts to fly Mayank Agarwal to Birmingham to be with the side in time for the July 1-5 Test, in the next few days.
The senior pro can always come back and play if he tests negative before the Test as there are no mandatory quarantine protocols in England for a Covid positive test result. It all depends on the team protocols and BCCI in its press release stated that Rohit is being monitored by the touring medical team.
Despite the uncertainty, there is a feeling of optimism that Rohit may recover and be ready for the Edgbaston Test. Agarwal, if sent, will be there as a backup opener should there be any last-minute fitness issues with Rohit. As far as naming a stand-in captain at the last minute is concerned, India have plenty of options in R. Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant.
The report further said that the decision on captaincy will be taken once chief selector Chetan Sharma reaches England. He is in Dublin, Ireland presently and will proceed to the UK after the second and final T20I against Ireland on June 28. By then the fitness status of Rohit is expected to be clear.
The other three selectors — Sunil Joshi, Debasis Mohanty and Harvinder Singh — have been in Bengaluru for the Ranji Trophy final, which concluded on Sunday.