Former Indian national cricket team batsman Mohammad Kaif has expressed his surprise at the appointment of Cheteshwar Pujara as India’s vice-captain ahead of Rishabh Pant for the two-match test series against the Bangladesh national cricket team.
The first Test match of the series will be played at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram from 14 to 18 December and the second Test will be played from 22 to 26 December at Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
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The 25-year-old wicket-keeper batsman Pant was named vice-captain of the team in the rescheduled fifth Test against England in Birmingham in July. Notably, Jasprit Bumrah led India in that match after Rohit Sharma was ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19 and KL Rahul was out with an injury.
On 11 December, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed that Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the first Test against Bangladesh due to a thumb injury and KL Rahul will lead the side with Pujara as his deputy.
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Meanwhile, Kaif has called Pujara’s appointment as vice-captain “shocking”.
“It’s a bit shocking to me because the last time we played against Rishabh Pant was the vice-captain,” Kaif said while answering a question from the Hindustan Times in an interaction hosted by Sony Sports Network.
Someone made a mistake – Mohammad Kaif
The 42-year-old further stressed that Pujara was a member of the India XI in the rescheduled Test against England and was still not given leadership responsibility.
“Pujara was on that team (in England), so you made a mistake here or there in England. Someone made a mistake. Why is there a rush? Why such a rush to make Pant captain? He’s a newcomer who is finding his footing at international level, he has won some great games I understand, but he is still young.
“You don’t name someone captain or vice-captain that early. Why this bustle? I do not understand. Why can’t someone just keep performing and winning matches? The priority should be to win games for your team and not to be captain. We focus so much on players,” Kaif added.
Also read: IND vs BAN: “Rishabh Pant disappointed in both T20 Cricket and ODIs” – Wasim Jaffer
Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh pants | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah