Captaincy is the thing that every cricketer dreams of, but captaining your own country is something special. India is a country of one billion people, and only a few get selected for a cricket team. Just like Justin Langer, Head Coach of the Australian Cricket Team, said, ” If you are choosing eleven out of a billion people, you are definitely amongst the best.” The statement is true, but to captain, a team of one billion people is something only a few can think of. We will look at the following three potential candidates to replace Virat Kohli as Indian Captain in the future.

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1) Shreyas Iyer

Shreyas is one of the strongest contenders for this role. He is still young and has submitted himself to the number four problem that Indian Batting faced. He is the current captain of Delhi Capitals and took his side to two consecutive playoff finishes and captaining them in their runners-up campaign last year. The only thing not in favor of Shreyas would be the red-ball format of the game. With so many people already in the frame of test cricket, it looks unlikely that Shreyas will get selected for the test team. BCCI always prefers one captain for all three formats until and unless there is something special (like in MS Dhoni).

2) Rishabh Pant – 

The young, hard-hitting batsman is another solid option for a captain in the future. He is the current captain for Delhi Capitals (due to the injury of Shreyas Iyer). He has been leading the side well and has played some great captain’s innings, like staying until the end of the chase/innings. Rishabh Pant has matured over the years, and almost all of his fans believe that he can fill the void left by the great MS Dhoni. Since he is the number one keeper for India in all the formats, BCCI can indeed look towards him as an exciting option.

3) Sanju Samson 

Sanju Samson has undoubtedly been a revelation not only for the Indian team in general but also for Rajasthan Royals and his state team Karnataka. He is the current captain of his IPL team Rajasthan Royals and has proved in the games that he is undoubtedly capable of doing this role. In the IPL games he has captained so far, he has shown the commitment and desire to win games for his team. He even took the blame for the team after their losses. These are the ideal characteristics for a future captain of a country. If given a chance, Sanju can be a good leader without any doubt.

4) Hardik Pandya 

This might come as a surprise to many of you, but Hardik Pandya can be an actual contender for the Indian captaincy. Hardik has undoubtedly been a vital cog in almost all three formats of the game. His skillset is unparalleled, at least in the current Indian team. He has been a leader on and off the field as well. Considering his age and his role in the Indian cricket team setup, he can be a great leader for the future. Some fans expect him to lead the Mumbai Indians as well after a few years. The captaincy experience from the IPL will become the most significant asset for Hardik, who will always look for new opportunities if and when it arises.

5) KL Rahul

We were saving the best for the last. KL Rahul would be the ideal Virat Kohli replacement, according to us and most of the social media polls. KL Rahul has the elegance and the class that Virat Kohli consists of. They are indeed two very different players, but they are the two who have been on the grand stage for a long time. KL Rahul has been the captain for Punjab Kings and has even captained a game for India (5th T20I against New Zealand, 2020). He won that game, and his bowling changes in the middle and the death overs proved pivotal in India’s win. If and when he is reintegrated into the Test starting XI, he will undoubtedly prove to be a key factor as a captain as well as a batsman.

There is no doubt that all five players are not capable of this role, but at the same time, if and when this decision is needed to be taken, the BCCI will indeed look at all possible candidates and then make the right and bold choice, till then we can only make predictions.