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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

After a humiliating 1-2 series loss against hosts South Africa, Indian red-ball captain Virat Kohli has stepped down as the skipper of the team. Now the million-dollar question is who will be the next Test skipper of India ?

Stylish Rohit Sharma has been recently appointed as the ODI and T20 captain of the Men in Blue. The team management will not like to give him additional burden with the Test captainship. After Kohli, Rohit is the premier batsman of the Indian team and the extra burden of Test captainship will put a lot of pressure on him. It may affect his batting in the long run as well.

Among others, Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant are captainship materials. All of them have led their respective franchises in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL). However, Ashwin is no more regular in the Test line-up and hence he seems to be out of contention.

Pant has matured a lot of late which was evident in his unbeaten counter-attacking century in the last Test against South Africa. His wicket-keeping has also improved in leaps and bounds. The left-hander is also an out of box thinker and he has done reasonably well while leading Delhi Daredevils in the IPL. However, as far as taking responsibility for the winning cause of the team is concerned, Pant has a long way to go. He is definitely a captainship material, but the team think tank may give him some time to gain more experience and maturity.

KL Rahul seems to be the frontrunner to take the mantle from Kohli. Though he has not done well as a captain for Punjab in IPL, his mature approach in all three formats of the game has impressed one and all. The team management has also shown an indication of grooming the ice-cool guy as the future leader of the game. As a batsman, Rahul is improving like anything and gaining confidence with each passing day. His overseas performances are also pretty impressive. His calm demeanour on and off the field will probably keep him in good stead for the red-ball captainship of India.

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