Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the fifth Test against England in Edgbaston after testing positive for COVID-19 for the second time and Jasprit Bumrah has been named captain of the team, the BCCI said in a statement released on Wednesday.
For the first time in three and a half decades, a fast bowler will lead India in a Test match. Bumrah is set to follow in Kapil Dev’s footsteps and for the first time since 1987, India will have a fast-bowling captain. Rishabh Pant will be his deputy.
Earlier this year, Bumrah had been promoted as the vice-captain of the Indian team for the three-match ODI series in South Africa.
With Rohit Sharma likely to be out of the one-off Test match against England, due to Covid, a place has opened up at the top of India’s Test-match batting line-up.
India might have to go with stand-in opener Hanuma Vihari, who’s done it before or there might be an outside chance for Srikar Bharat.
Hanuma Vihari 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, helping see off the new ball and earning the praise of the then Indian captain Virat Kohli.
But going by the form it could be KS Bharat, who had 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, while he scored a feisty 43 in the second innings. Bharat opened for India in absence of Rohit Sharma and was involved in a 62-run stand for the opening wicket with Shubman Gill.