New Delhi: Over the years, fans of Indian sports or those who follow professionally often find themselves on the cusp of things. Instances where you can see the changes coming. From Sunil Gavaskar to Kapil Dev, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, to Virat Kohli and now Rohit Sharma, it has been a privilege to see the leadership of Indian cricket.
Now, when you think of future captains, a lot of leadership for India and names like Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant come to mind.
The series in England was quite a revelation in many ways. For one, we saw a new Test captain in the form of Jasprit Bumrah, while Pandya’s leadership skills, as seen in the Indian Premier League, were often evident in previous One Day Internationals, where he not only attacked England but also bowlers with India. Had a lot of trouble, but Pant was persuaded and Kajol stayed on top as the left-handed batsman scored his maiden ODI century for India.
So, in that same match, we are now seeing current and future leaders in action, and the way things go, it is simply a matter of when and when not.
Pant’s thumping for a single off David Willey’s last delivery for five consecutive boundaries is a sign of how he is maturing, and hopefully, he has left his wild swinging days behind. The temptation to go for the sixth boundary in the over would have been strong but Pant instead of going for Gaurav opted for a single to seal the win.
Of the players on or off the field, KL Rahul is probably the most unlucky one, as his position as India captain may now be well and truly on hold. There is never the best time for any player to be out of circulation because so many talented players are having his neck down.
Even as we see the young come forward, we can also see the decline of the older set. Rohit Sharma is the captain now but the wear and tear have started to show while Virat Kohli, who has already passed his leadership days, is now battling his demons.
While one may sympathize with these players for once, there is no denying that this is indeed the natural course of things and that Darwin’s survival of the fittest is not limited to the wild. The same players were impatient with their seniors as they struggled and quickly took over the lead. This is the circle of life and cricket.