Ahead of the third Test match against Australia, India captain Rohit Sharma cleared the air on Indian team management stripping KL Rahul of vice-captaincy in the last two Test matches of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and said that it doesn't mean anything big.
India will face Australia in Indore in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy scheduled to begin on March 1.
It is worth noting that Rahul has only scored 38 runs in three innings, and despite the club management's faith in him, it will be difficult for them to continue to give him chances, especially with someone like Shubman Gill waiting in the wings.
Rohit stated that all 17 players nominated to the team would have an opportunity to make the Playing 11. He claimed that Rahul was appointed vice-captain just because the team lacked veteran players at the time.
"All 17 players in the team has a chance. The team will back those who are talented. Stripping vice-captaincy doesn't mean anything big. He was made the vice-captain because maybe there was not many experienced players at that time. It is not a big thing," Rohit said in a pre-match conference.
"When we talk about players going through a tough time, anyone with potential will be given enough time to prove themselves. And being vice-captain or not being vice-captain, doesn't actually tell you anything. At that point in time, when he was the vice-captain, he was probably the senior most. And his removal of vice-captaincy doesn't mean anything," he added.
Despite some impressive recent form against both the red-ball and in the limited overs arena, Shubman Gill has been overlooked for the opening two Tests against Australia as selectors have opted for more experienced options at the top of India's batting order.
"As far as Gill and KL both are concerned, they train and practice [for long hours] before any game...As far as our 11 is concerned, we have not finalised on it. I would like to do it at the toss and I prefer to be announced at that point in time," Rohit Sharma further said.
India, currently have a 2-0 lead in the four-match Test series against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and need one more win to confirm their place in the WTC final. Australia are the other favourites to play in the final.
He said that selection could be difficult considering that Shardul Thakur, India's favourite pace-bowling all-rounder in international conditions, isn't in the team for this series and hasn't played competitive cricket in over a month.
"There is definitely a possibility of that. We've already spoken about it. We need to get the guys ready for it as well," Rohit said.
"The important one is Shardul Thakur, because he comes into that plan for us. I don't know how ready he is, knowing that he just got married. We don't know how many overs he has bowled. But yeah, that thought process is definitely there. If we do what we do here and we get the result we want, we might think of doing something different in Ahmedabad for sure," he added. (ANI)