India’s ODI squad for the South Africa tour brought a lot of surprises, and the biggest of them was KL Rahul being named the captain. After Virat Kohli was replaced by Rohit Sharma from the ODI captaincy, Sharma was all set to captain in his first-ever series as a full-time captain. Unfortunately, he suffered from a hamstring injury, which is the reason behind Rahul being named captain of the side. From being dropped a few years back to getting the ODI captaincy, Rahul is riding a lucky ride.
KL Rahul: The Leader
The future of the Indian Cricket team is in safe hands, as they have a lot of potential leaders in the team. It isn’t just because Rahul was the vice-captain of the team that he was chosen as captain but also because the selection committee wants to groom him as a leader.
Rahul has good experience as a leader, as he has led the Punjab side in the IPL. Despite Punjab not reaching the qualifier stage in his tenure as captain, Rahul has showcased a lot of character as a leader. Rahul has won 11 matches out of 27 as the captain of the Punjab Kings. His win percentage might be below 50 (40.74%), but the Karnataka opener has shown immense skills and qualities as captain.
Other prospective leaders
Iyer is the one who transformed the Delhi franchise into one of the biggest franchises in the IPL. Under Iyer’s leadership, Delhi Capitals became one of the top teams after they reached two finals in a row. Iyer is one of the biggest contenders to become the future leader of the Indian Cricket team.
He captained the Delhi Capitals in 41 matches, out of which he won 21. His win percentage of 51.22 is indeed a great sign of his consistency as a leader. Iyer needs to be consistent with the bat, which will allow him a chance to contest for the captain’s role in the future.
In 2021, following the injury that forced Iyer to leave the IPL, Pant was given the responsibility to lead the Delhi Capitals. Pant did full justice to his role till the very end, as they reached the knockout stage. Pant is a great character who has a lot of experience, even though he is pretty young.
Pant has displayed his leadership skills in the last edition of the IPL, as he won nine out of the 16 matches. His win percentage of 56.25% is one of the best for a young captain. The wicket-keeper batter shows a lot of promise to become one of the top leaders in the sport, and he might be the next MS Dhoni.
KL Rahul: Mr. Dependable
Captaincy affects the best of the batters in the cricketing fraternity. But Rahul is one leader who has enjoyed the responsibility given to him. Rahul has become more responsible and has finished the matches for his team ever since he became the captain of the Punjab Kings.
Rahul’s numbers speak for themselves, as his average as a captain of 58.90 is one of the best in the shortest format of the game. He has scored 1296 runs at a strike rate of 133.74, which is great for an opening batter. He has taken the burden of the team in many situations. Despite Punjab’s lackluster performance in the IPL, Rahul has shown his best in both roles he was given, a batter and a leader.
Rahul possesses immense skills as a leader in all three formats of the game. He needs some game time as a captain to improve and brush up on his captaincy skills. This tour of South Africa will give him immense confidence and prepare him for the future, as he is potentially the next captain of the Indian Cricket team, possibly in all three formats.