Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the fifth Test against England scheduled to take place in Birmingham.
In Sharma’s absence, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah will be leading the side.
“Rohit is out of this Test match, starting July 1, as his RT-PCR test has come positive again. He is still in isolation.” A BCCI source said.
“Jasprit Bumrah, who is one of the vice-captains in absence of KL Rahul, will lead the team.”
Bumrah is the second pace bowler after Kapil Dev to captain India in Tests.
Not since 1987 has a fast bowler been given the reins of the Indian team.
India is leading the series 2-1.
A win or a draw in this encounter will hand them the series.
Earlier this year, Bumrah has been promoted as the vice-captain of the Indian team for the three-match ODI series in South Africa.
In the press conference, the pace spearhead had then said that if the opportunity comes, he is ready to take up the India captaincy.
“If given an opportunity, it would be an honour. I don’t think any player would say no. There’s no bigger feeling than that,” Bumrah had said back then.
With Rohit Sharma likely to be out of the one-off Test match against England, due to Covid, India needs to find an opener who can do the job.
One option is to go in with stand-in opener Hanuma Vihari.
Unfortunately, his current form against doesn’t inspire confidence.
What Vihari has going for him is experience.
He has opened before, at the MCG, and while he only made 8 and 13, he spent 80 minutes at the crease in the first innings, and nearly an hour in the second.
The other daring option is to go with Srikar Bharat.
Bharat impressed with the bat in both the outing in the warm-up match against Leicestershire.
Batting at No 7, in the first innings, the 28-year-old remained unbeaten on 70 and scored an attacking 43 in the second innings.
Bharat opened for India and was involved in a 62-run stand for the opening wicket with Shubman Gill.
It’s an important decision and hope Bumrah and Dravid get it right.