Image Source - Twitter

3 replacements for Rohit Sharma if the Indian skipper is ruled out of the 4th T20I

Rohit Sharma may have broken Virat Kohli’s record for the most sixes hit by an Indian T20I captain in the third game against the West Indies on Tuesday, August 2, at St Kitt’s, but his fitness has once again let him down just as the Indian selectors and team management look to finalize the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup squads.

During the Indian run chase, Rohit tried a fierce shot on the on-side and ended up injuring his lower back. Sharma seemed to be in a lot of pain and opted to leave the field after a lengthy conversation with the physio. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) went on to say that the skipper was being followed by the medical staff and that an update on his condition was not yet available.

As of now, it is unclear if the injury would keep Rohit out of the rest of the series, or even the next match. If he is unable to play, these are the three contenders who may serve as India’s stand-in captain for the next encounter.

.

Number 1. Hardik Pandya

.

Image Source – Twitter

.

Hardik Pandya, who had taken a hiatus from international cricket after last year’s T20 World Cup, made an incredible return in the IPL 2022, leading the new entrants Gujarat Titans to their first championship success. He also made his individual efforts matter, collecting 487 runs from 16 matches and recording match-winning figures of 3/17 against the Rajasthan Royals in the final.

Hardik had already led India to a 2-0 T20I series triumph over Ireland in June of this year, and he now has enough leadership experience to lead the Men in Blue from the front in the shortest format.

More significantly, he can play powerful middle-order innings and provide wickets with his medium-pace. As a result, if Rohit is ruled out of the next game, Hardik Pandya is a possible contender for India’s T20I leadership.

.

Number 2. Rishabh Pant

.

Image Source – Twitter

.

Rishabh Pant’s undefeated 33 runs off 26 balls helped India cross the finish line in the previous game. While the wicketkeeper-batter has been solid in Tests and One Day Internationals, he has been inconsistent in the shortest format, blowing hot and cold in recent months.

In terms of leadership experience, Rishabh was the stand-in captain of the Men in Blue in the absence of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul during the 2-2 draw against South Africa at home. Aside from that, he led the Delhi Capitals in the previous two IPL seasons.

DC advanced to the playoffs and finished third in 2021, but had to settle for a fifth-place result in 2022. As a result, Rishabh Pant might be a leadership possibility for the fourth T20I against the Windies.

.

Number 3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

.

Image Source – Twitter

.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s career has been hampered by injuries that have forced him to walk off the field on many occasions during the previous two years. This has also kept him out of the Indian Test squad. However, after a great return in IPL 2022, when he recorded 12 scalps from 14 matches, the UP cricketer has been frequently participating in India’s white-ball setup.

Furthermore, the senior bowler has regularly picked up wickets in every bilateral series played in the previous two months, which is cause for celebration for the selectors ahead of the two big championships this year.

With 20 wickets in 15 innings in T20Is this year, Kumar seems to be returning to form, and he might potentially skipper India in the next match. The pacer served as India’s vice-captain for the away limited-overs series against Sri Lanka last year, and he has also led the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL on many occasions.