New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS): Legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar feels that young wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant can be the ideal candidate to lead India in Test cricket following Virat Kohli's decision to quit as captain.
Kohli on Saturday announced his decision to step down from the captaincy, a day after losing the Test series to South Africa.
As the questions start emerging over who could be the next skipper, Gavaskar said, "It's going to be quite a debate as far as the selection committee is concerned as to who should be taking Indian cricket forward. If you ask me, I am still staying, I would look at Rishabh Pant as the next India captain."
"For one reason only, just like Rohit Sharma was given the captaincy of Mumbai Indians when Ricky Ponting stepped down, look at the change in his batting after that. Suddenly the responsibility of being captain made him convert those beautiful cameos of the 30s, 40s, and 50s into hundreds, 150s, and 200s. I think that sense of responsibility given to Rishabh Pant will help him score many more of that wonderful hundred he scored at Newlands," he told India Today.
Gavaskar further cited the example of Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, who achieved great success after taking over the captaincy at a very young age.
"Yes, I am saying that. Tiger Pataudi was captain at the age of 21 under adverse circumstances when Nari Contractor was injured. Look what he did after that. He took to captaincy like a duck to water. I think what we have seen with Rishabh Pant as the captain of Delhi Capitals in the IPL, I do believe he has the capability of taking Indian cricket forward and making it a very exciting team to watch," he said.
Rohit Sharma was recently appointed as the vice-captain of India's Test team but he was not part of the recently-concluded three-match series in South Africa. Rohit took over after Ajinkya Rahane was sacked from the role over the dip in form.
Rohit has emerged as the front-runner to take over Test captaincy. But reports are coming that KL Rahul could also be picked, as he led India in the second Test against South Africa in the absence of Kohli.