Rarely has a fast bowler been chosen to lead the Indian cricket team. Kapil Dev was a glorious exception. No fast bowler has captained India since Kapil Dev in March 1987. 35 years later, Jasprit Bumrah is set to be officially named India captain for the fifth and final Test against England at Edgbaston, from 1st July.

With regular captain Rohit Sharma down with Covid and vice-captain KL Rahul on trial through injury, Edgbaston’s test could be Bumrah’s first as India captain.

Earlier this year, Bumrah was promoted as India’s vice-captain for the three-game ODI series in South Africa. In a press conference, the spearhead of the rhythm had then declared that if the opportunity presented itself, he was ready to take over the Indian captaincy.

“If the opportunity arose, it would be an honor. I don’t think any player would say no. There is no greater feeling than this,” Bumrah said at the time.

“I don’t like chasing things because I don’t want to…You see, I’m a person who believes that God has a plan and everything will go its own way, so I don’t like to get in the way of the plan that is I try never to change anything.

“Whatever role I’m asked to do, I’d do it with the best ability possible. I don’t want to change the whole organization, you’re still a leader when you’re a senior member of the team so that’s just a post that comes with you.

“Basically, you’re trying to help all people in whatever capacity you can. Even in Mumbai Indians you have a lot of senior players but now I am also one of the senior players so you help the captain, you help everyone, you play the role of leader even when you are not don’t ask.

“That’s how I see it. I never want, you know, just for personal satisfaction to have that okay, I want to be in there, I have to be the captain. It’s just a job, it’s just a name, you have to do your job and you have to help people the best you can.

Vihari or Bharat, which will open in Rohit’s absence?

With Rohit Sharma likely to be absent from the one-off England Test match, due to Covid, a place has opened up at the top of India’s Test match batting line-up.

India may have to choose replacement fly-half Hanuma Vihari, who has already done so, or there could be an outside chance for Srikar Bharat.

Hanuma Vihari has opened at the MCG before, and despite only going 8 and 13, he spent 80 minutes in the crease in the first set and almost an hour in the second, helping to see the new ball and earning praise from then-Indian captain Virat Kohli.

But form-wise it could be KS Bharat, who impressed with the bat in both the outing and the warm-up game against Leicestershire. Battling to No. 7, in the first set, the 28-year-old went unbeaten on 70, as he scored a spirited 43 in the second set. Bharat opened for India in Rohit Sharma’s absence and was involved in a 62-run stand for the opening wicket with Shubman Gill.

In the two sets combined, Bharat had 209 balls (111 in the first and 98 in the second), and he looked comfortable against Leicester’s attack. But going up against James Anderson and Stuart Broad will be a whole different ball game.

It’s still unlikely, but another left field option may have presented itself to India’s management and Bharat might be an option for India to consider.

Rohit Sharma tests positive covid

India Test captain Rohit Sharma has tested positive for Covid-19 which could put him in doubt for the single test against England at Edgbaston.

According to a BCCI statement, “Rohit tested positive with the rapid antigen test in Leicester, England. His test was carried out on Saturday, June 25. He has been placed in solitary confinement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) medical team monitoring his health.

The news of Rohit’s positive test came after the matchday three warm-up game against Leicestershire. R Ashwin’s arrival on the tour has been delayed after he tested positive before leaving India.

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