MS Dhoni’s sudden retirement from the 5 day game has left the Indian think tank in a spot of bother over the ideal playing combination that will take on Australia in the 4th and final test at Sydney. With Dhoni era coming to a sunset and Virat Kohli taking charge, the Indian team has plenty of things to sort out.
Every new year symbolizes the beginning of a fresh start. It is surely going to be quite a challenge for the Indian team to handle the transition phase. Unlike MSD, who had plenty of experienced players to fall back on, Virat will have no one to guide him through this hour of transition as there is hardly any experience left in the current Indian test squad.
The team management has the responsibility of framing a new and an innovative game plan which would offer Virat Kohli an opportunity to Marshall his troops efficiently. In a team of young turks,there are a few players who have captained their respective states in the Ranji trophy. The onus lies on Kohli to recognize his second in command. R. Ashwin and Pujara are at the top in the list of probable vice- captains.
Furthermore, Dhoni’s surprise departure from the 5 day game has opened the gates of opportunity for wicketkeepers. A huge challenge for the men in blue is to find an appropriate keeper who can play with the tailenders.
Kohli will have to identify his pool of seamers. The likes of Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Ishant Sharma and Bhubaneswar Kumar are talented bowlers but, the Indian team needs a bowling spearhead. Moving further, the number 6 batting position still remains a cause of worry for the team. Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina etc.have tried their luck at number 6 but none of them could live up to the expectations.
Virat Kohli has had enough time to visualize his role and responsibility as the captain of the national side in the last few months. He captained India in the first test at Adelaide and was praised for his aggressive captaincy. Virat is an aggressive personality. He looks to get under the opposition’s skin. Kohli has been the second highest scorer in the ongoing test series. He scored consecutive centuries at Adelaide and almost steered the Indian team to an improbable victory. The fact that Kohli is reactive, may be good for the game. Kohli is a great player and he will improve as his career progresses.
Whether Kohli will have a bigger role in the selection will depend on how receptive the team management will be to his ideas. We will have to wait and see how he goes about his job in the final test match. It is going to be a test of his temperament and leadership skills.