When Rishabh Pant comes out for the toss in the first T20I of the five-match series against South Africa later today, he will make his international captaincy debut (June 9).
The kid was supposed to play in five T20Is with Rahul, but the older cricketer was pulled out due to a ground injury. Hardik Pandya, who is playing the role for the first time in his career, will assist Rishabh.
The instant Rishabh wears the captain’s hat, he will leapfrog Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in the elite list. The former India U-19 vice-captain will become the Men in Blue’s second-youngest captain in T20Is.
Suresh Raina retains the record for being India’s youngest T20I skipper at 23 years and 197 days, and he will keep the number one spot. Rishabh will take over as captain in the second position. He was born in October 1997 and is 24 years old.
Dhoni, who was 26 years old when he captained India at the 2007 T20 World Cup, will follow Raina and Rishabh. India’s first T20I captain, Virender Sehwag, was 28 years old when the Men in Blue faced South Africa in 2006.
When Kohli initially captained India in T20Is, he was also 28 years old. Intriguingly, the former India captain captained his country in his first ODI in 2013 and his first Test in 2014. But it was against England in January 2017 that he made his debut as a T20I skipper.
Ajinkya Rahane, who led India on their 2015 tour of Zimbabwe, was 28 at the time. At 30, KL Rahul would have become India’s oldest T20I skipper. He is still a member of the leadership group, and it will be fascinating to see if he will be available for the England tour.
For the one-off Test match, the right-handed batsman has been designated as Rohit’s deputy.