Jasprit Bumrah will lead the Indian side in the fifth Test against England starting on Friday after regular captain Rohit Sharma failed to recover in time from COVID-19, the BCCI announced in a statement on Thursday. Rishabh Pant has been named vice-captain. (More Cricket News)
“Mr Rohit Sharma, Captain, Indian Cricket Team is ruled out of the rescheduled fifth Test against England to be played from Friday,” a BCCI release said. “Rohit underwent a RAT Test on Thursday
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee has named Mr Jasprit Bumrah as captain for the upcoming Test and Mr Rishabh Pant as his deputy.”
This is the first time Jasprit Bumrah will be leading the Indian national team in any format. He also becomes the first pacer to captain India since legendary Kapil Dev in 1987. Rohit Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 while playing the warm-up fixture against Leicestershire.
The India captain batted in the first innings but was forced to isolation and did not take part in the second innings. Rohit’s absence means there will be a new opener partnering Shubman Gill. A win or draw in this Test match would help India secure their first Test series victory in England since 2007.
The BCCI has flown in Mayank Agarwal as cover but head coach Rahul Dravid stated that No.3 might be elevated to the opener’s slot meaning Cheteshwar Pujara to go up the batting order. Mayank has joined the side straightaway since there is no quarantine for international travellers.
Bumrah has slowly grown into one of the vital cogs in India’s red-ball side. Since his debut in 2018, Bumrah has played 29 Tests so far picking up 123 wickets. He is also placed third in the ICC Rankings for Test bowlers.
Bumrah served as the vice-captain of India during India’s tour of South Africa earlier this year with KL Rahul leading the side in Rohit’s absence. Rohit had a hamstring injury back then. Bumrah was also the deputy to Rohit during the Test and T20I series against Sri Lanka.
The Edgbaston Test is a part of the ICC World Test Championship and crucial points are at stake for both sides. India are currently sitting at No.3 in the standings. Meanwhile, England are coming into this Test match after a 3-0 whitewash against New Zealand.