Ajinkya Rahane is set to lead in the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. Several sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have indicated that Rohit Sharma – who will lead the Indian team in the T20I series – will be rested for both the Tests in a bid to manage his workload, while Virat Kohli, too, won’t be available for the first Test.
While a formal announcement is expected soon, it is believed that the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee, which met on Thursday, zeroed in on Rahane as the stand-in skipper for the Kanpur Test. Kohli is expected to return and lead the side for the second Test in Mumbai.
With the Indian team playing non-stop cricket over the last few months, the Board and the selection committee believe that it is important to maintain the workload and some of the key bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami – would be rested for the series. While Wriddhiman Saha and KS Bharat are set to be part of the side, Rishabh Pant, too, could sit out.
The series will also be the first assignment for Rahul Dravid as the head coach.