At one point, becoming the team captain required years of arduous practice and dedication from cricket players. When Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, or even Virat Kohli were appointed captains, they remained in those roles for years, defining an entire era. However, in the past year or so, the captaincy has changed into a musical chairs contest. The fact that Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, and Shikhar Dhawan have all been given the captaincy raises the question: Is captaincy still that significant in Indian cricket today? Possibly not.
Rohit may not continue to serve as India’s chosen captain across all formats for too long now that he is 35 years old. The selectors appear to have narrowed down the contender or candidates to lead Indian cricket into the next phase with Hardik displaying the desire and credentials to become a leader and other names knocking on the door. Ajay Jadeja, a former cricketer for India, seems to particularly like Shreyas Iyer, who is steadily solidifying his spot in the Indian team, despite all of this rat race. Iyer had a fantastic year in 2022, hitting an astounding 1609 runs across all formats, 185 more than Suryakumar Yadav, the player who dominated the charts this year. And given what Iyer accomplished in the just-completed nerve-racking Mirpur Test against Bangladesh, Jadeja’s performance is even more impressive.
“It’s not just once, but Shreyas Iyer has done it twice-thrice in fact. Once he came back from injury, then he was struggling against short-pitch bowling and he has worked to overcome it. So when you learn to overcome one obstacle, you can put it behind the others too. Let’s hope to see because 2-3 years ago, he was tipped as the next Indian captain. Now it’s a different scenario altogether with as many as 12 captains in Indian cricket, but he was touted to become the next skipper,” Jadeja said on the Sony Sports Network.
Iyer, who has 724 runs from 17 games, has surpassed Dhawan and Shubman Gill to become India’s top ODI run scorer this year. Additionally, he has been in excellent form in Test cricket, scoring 422 runs from five games at an average of 60.28, second only to Rishabh Pant’s 680 runs from seven games. Iyer, who made his whites debut against New Zealand the previous year and lit up the scoreboard with a century, may not have scored a hundred in this, but with four fifties, he has shown enormous growth.
“He has scored runs consistently. He is averaging 60-70 this year in Test cricket and the temperament he showed on Day 4 was spectacular. If look at that partnership carefully, Ashwin faced more balls and scored more runs, so he realized that just because he was the last recognized specialist batter, he only has to get the job done. And then the calmness he showed… it’s one thing to say ‘I love pressure situations. I thrive there, but to do it is something else. For me, temperament has always held more significance than skills and ability because good temperament allows you to deliver and do justice to that skills,” mentioned Jadeja.