Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya are said to be leading the race to deputise for India captain Rohit Sharma at the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 and the ICC ODI World Cup at home later this year. While Hardik has been leading the T20I team in Rohit’s absence since the last T20 World Cup, Bumrah is leading a second-string Indian team against Ireland in an ongoing three-match T20I series.
Both the star players are leading the race for India’s vice-captaincy ahead of the two marquee tournaments this year. According to a report in news agency PTI, Bumrah could have a slight edge over the allrounder given he has also led India in the past for the rescheduled fifth Test against England last year when Rohit wasn’t fully fit.
Bumrah himself only made his comeback after being sidelined for nearly a year due to a back injury. The 29-year-old underwent surgery after sustaining a stress fracture on his back, but made his much-awaited comeback in the T20I series opener against Ireland leading the Men in Blue to a 2-run win through DLS method.
“If you look in terms of leadership seniority, Bumrah is ahead of Pandya as he captained the Test team in 2022. He has also been ODI vice-captain before Pandya during the ODI tour of South Africa,” a BCCI source in know of things told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“Don’t be surprised if you see Bumrah being made ODI deputy to Rohit for both Asia Cup and World Cup. There is a reason why he was handed captaincy in Ireland instead of Ruturaj,” the PTI source added.
With Rohit turning 36 earlier this year, the BCCI is looking to manage the Hitman’s workload, thus he hasn’t played a single T20I fixture since the T20 World Cup 2022 semifinal against England.
Pandya has led the Indian team with much success, but he oversaw a first bilateral (T20I) series recently against West Indies in his captaincy as they lost a five-match series 3-2 after making a comeback from 0-2 down.