Proof is in pudding with what Rohit Sharma has done at Mumbai Indians: Ponting on India’s next Test skipper

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has backed India’s white-ball captain Rohit Sharma to be the next Test captain after Virat Kohli. He added that Sharma’s success with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is a proof of his captaincy credentials. After becoming the T20I skipper in November 2021, Sharma was given ODI captaincy as well in December.

He was also elevated as the vice-captain in Tests before being ruled out of South Africa series due to left hamstring injury. Now with Kohli no longer the Test captain, Ponting has endorsed Sharma, a five-time IPL winning captain, to be India’s skipper in the longest format of the game. In 22 T20Is under Sharma’s captaincy, India has won 18 while losing four matches. In 10 ODIs with Sharma as captain, India has won eight while losing two matches.

“I think the proof is in the pudding with what he has done at the Mumbai Indians since that moment on. He has been a very successful leader there and has been when he has led India on a few occasions as well,” said Ponting to former England pacer Isa Guha on first episode of ICC Review show.

“If I go back to what I said at the start about being on top of your game when you take over a captaincy role, then it is pretty hard to argue after what he has done with his Test cricket in the last 2-3 years. He has played as well as anybody in the world through that period of time, and we know how good he is as a white-ball player,” added Ponting, a two-time Men’s Cricket World Cup winning captain.

Ponting felt Ajinkya Rahane can be a good option for Test captaincy. Rahane captained India in six Tests, winning four and drawing twice. “To be honest, I have worked with Ajinkya – he is just a great bloke, a very, very good player. He hasn’t had his best period with the bat in Tests, but we saw what he can do leadership-wise in the series against Australia last summer.”

The 47-year-old wasn’t sure about how KL Rahul, who made his Test and ODI captaincy debut on tour of South Africa, would fare in the leadership role. “I don’t know KL Rahul well – his name’s been thrown around a little bit. All reports I hear about him is he is a terrific guy, and he’s playing very well and starting to put together a really good Test record, particularly overseas which is impressive. There will be a few names that will be thrown around.”

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