Selectors name R. Ashwin to be Kohli’s deputy

Bipin Dani
Observer Correspondent


The National Selection Panel (NSP) headed by MSK Prasad has chosen R. Ashwin as Team India’s new vice captain, it is learnt here.
According to the sources in the Indian cricket board, the five selectors (MSK Prasad, Jatin Paranjape, Gagan Khoda, Devang Gandhi and Sharandeep Singh) have anonymously picked in-form Ravichandran Ashwin to lead the side in the absence of Virat Kohli.
Their choice has been conveyed to the BCCI on Thursday and the announcement is likely to be made in next 24 hours.
Earlier, the selectors had named Ajinkya Rahae to be Kohli’s deputy, however, Rahane, being injured on his finger is out the twoTests.
There could not have been a happier time for Ashwin to be the candidate as Kohli’s deputy. On Thursday he went past Javagal Srinath’s tally of 236 to become the seventh highest wicket-taker for India. He grabbed another 5-wickets haul (tallying 23 times) on the second day of the ongoing Test in Mumbai.
There had been a possibility of Ashwin leading the side on the second day morning itself when Kohli’s feet struck in the turf while chasing the ball. He was in pain for sometime. But luckily was able to be on the field.
The 30-year-old Ashwin has been playing his 43rd Test.
“Barring Jatin Paranjape, the other four selectors are busy watching domestic matches. The chief selector, MSK Prasad, now watching Delhi-Saurashtra match in Baroda, may arrive in Mumbai on Saturday”, the BCCI source added.
Devang Gandhi, Sharandeep Singh and Gagan Khoda are in Kolkata, Delhi and Mohali respectively, it is also learnt here.

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