India pacer Jasprit Bumrah is set to lead the national team for the first time as he has been named as the skipper of the side for the fifth Test match against England at Edgbaston starting July 1.
Rishabh Pant will be Bumrah’s deputy.
This will be Bumrah’s first match as captain at any level of representative cricket and he becomes the first fast bowler to lead India since Kapil Dev, whose last game as India captain was an ODI against England in Mumbai in November 1987.
The rookie pacer will be the second captain for India in the Pataudi Trophy, which the visitors lead by 2-1.
Virat Kohli was the incharge of the team for the first four games but later after his mega decision of quitting captaincy forced India to hunt for a new one.
Initially BCCI named Rohit Sharma as the Test skipper for the final match of the series but he tested positive for COVID-19 and first choice vice-captain KL Rahul is also injured.
At his first public appearance as captain at Egdbaston, Bumrah could not hide his excitement. “This is a big achievement, a big honour,” he said. “For me, playing a Test match was a dream and getting such an opportunity is probably one of the biggest achievements of my career. I am very happy that I have been given this opportunity.”
It was only on Thursday morning that Bumrah was informed by head coach Rahul Dravid that he would be leading India as Rohit had not cleared the Covid test. “We were waiting for an announcement because we were waiting for Rohit’s confirmation. We did a test today (Thursday) morning as well so he tested positive in that test. Then, there was a discussion with the coach [Dravid] and he announced that I will be leading the side.”
Bumrah shared the emotions when he narrated this news to his family.
“When I came to know – it is a massive achievement and I told my family. They are really proud of me and I am very happy that this day has come. And yeah, very proud of this achievement but now focusing on the work that we have to do and prepare to the best of our ability.”
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