EXCLUSIVE: Time has come to keep fitness criteria also as a benchmark to decide on leadership role

EXCLUSIVE: Time has come to keep fitness criteria also as a benchmark to decide on leadership role

Saba Karim

Saba Karim has shared his take on India’s vice-captaincy. Photo: BCCL

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • KL Rahul has been ruled out of the England tour
  • The right-handed batsman is now the vice-captain of Team India
  • Rahul has missed many matches in the past six months due to fitness issues
India Vice Captain KL Rahul has been dealing with fitness issues for over six months now. In 2021, the right-handed batsman missed the home Test series against New Zealand due to a thigh strain while a few months later, he missed the 3 T20Is series against West Indies and Sri Lanka series due to a hamstring strain.
After proving his fitness in IPL, Rahul was named Team India’s captain for the home series against South Africa but a groin injury has ruled him out of action for a long period. He will now fly to Germany for treatment and there’s no official word regarding his comeback.
So should Team India have a new full-time vice-captain in place of Rahul? Speaking to Timesnownews.com, former national selector Saba Karim shared his take on the matter and opined that it will not be an easy call for BCCI.

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As per Saba, fitness should be a criteria when taking a call on the leadership role. “To take a call on that is not so easy (appointing a new vice-captain). But I think the time has now come for the selectors and the team management to keep fitness criteria also as a benchmark to decide on the leadership role. If you have captains who are getting injured on a regular basis then one needs to take a call. affects the performance of the side and it affects the preparations of the side also,” Saba told Timesnownews.com.

“So yes, the time has come – I am not only talking about KL Rahul, but whoever is given that opportunity, one has to keep the fitness concept also in mind. Whether one is available for all the games as a captain.”

India’s next white-ball assignment will be against Ireland. The selectors have named a 17-member squad for the series. Hence, every player might not get a chance in the series

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On being asked if India should field a strong playing XI or give the benched players a chance, the former India stumper said: “Whoever plays will be an experiment, isn’t it? Because there are so many new faces in the side. Yes , but this is a good opportunity for the Indian team management to try out players who haven’t had international experience. This is how they grow. And all of them are waiting to be given an opportunity. And we have seen that in white- ball cricket that whoever gets an opportunity they have done quite well. but also post WC.”

“No, I don’t think Rahul Dravid believes in all that (on giving every player a chance against Ireland). First, you look at the combination, different spots and then try out players.”

Hardik Pandya will be leading the Men in Blue in two T20Is against the Andy Balbirnie-led side. The two T20Is of the series will be played on June 26 and 28 in Dublin.

Watch the LIVE coverage of Ireland vs India – 1st & 2nd T20I on SONY SIX (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi) & SONY TEN 4 (Tamil & Telugu) channels on 26th & 28th June 2022 from 9:00 pm IST.

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