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Ravi Shastri reveals why he never wanted a vice-captain for India

India has retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy for the fourth consecutive time with a resounding victory over Australia in the second Test in Delhi. However, opener KL Rahul’s poor form has garnered attention since the match’s conclusion. Former Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has advised against appointing a vice-captain for home matches.

Rahul’s disappointing run in the ongoing Test series against Australia has put his place in the team in doubt, with the impressive Shubman Gill waiting in the wings. The team management has stripped Rahul of his role as vice-captain for the third and fourth Tests, leading to India’s appointment of a new deputy for skipper Rohit Sharma.

Shastri suggests that appointing a vice-captain in home conditions can lead to unnecessary complications and that the team should instead consider selecting a player to lead the side when the captain leaves the field. He explains that the vice-captain tag can make it difficult to drop an underperforming player, as was the case with Rahul, who is currently keeping Gill out of the team.

“I, for one, always had the belief (to) never appoint a vice-captain for India. I would rather go with my best XI, and if the captain has to leave the field, you’d zero in on a player that can take over at the time, simply because you don’t need to create complications,” Shastri said on the ICC Review podcast.

Shastri further points out that overseas conditions are different and that prime form is essential for home matches. Therefore, he believes that someone like Shubman Gill, who is in red-hot form, should challenge the underperforming Rahul for a place in the team.

“If the vice-captain doesn’t perform, someone can take his place; at least the tag is not there. I’m being blunt and brutal, I never like a vice-captain in home conditions. Overseas, it’s different. Here, you want prime form, you want someone like Shubman Gill, who’s red hot. He will challenge. He has to bang that door down and get into the side. Now, he’s not the vice-captain; it has to be the team management’s decision,” Shastri added.