Kohli to be vice-captain

The announcement in Mumbai on Wednesday of Virat Kohli’s elevation as the Indian squad’s vice-captain for the Asia Cup was a clear indication that the Kris Srikkanth-led selection panel sees him as a cricketer who could potentially lead the team in the near future.

The panel met in Mumbai Wednesday morning to select the team for the Asia Cup in Dhaka beginning March 12.

The selectors’ choice for 23-year-old Kohli over Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina, who have captained the team previously, means the panel has found in him a suitable deputy to skipper M S Dhoni.

Sachin Tendulkar will remain part of the 15-member team for the Asia cup, while Virender Sehwag has been “rested” along with the fast bowlers Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav.

“I think the point is we all have to look forward to a slightly futuristic point of view. The time has also come to groom youngsters in captaincy,” Srikkanth told reporters.

Given how Kohli’s stock in the team has grown over the last two years, he has firmly established himself as the future captain.

The highest run-getter in ODIs in 2011 (1,381 runs in 34 games at over 47) may have convinced the powers-that-be of his credentials, with Tuesday’s match-winning century against Sri Lanka at Hobart, being the clincher.

Officially, Sehwag may have been rested, but events of the past fortnight, before the media and performances on the field, have provided enough fodder to think otherwise.

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