Mohammad Kaif, a former player for the India National Cricket Team, voiced his astonishment at Cheteshwar Pujara’s selection over Rishabh Pant as India’s vice-captain for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh National Cricket Team.

The first Test of the series will take place from December 14 to December 18 at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram, and the second Test will take place at Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur from December 22 to 26.

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Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. Image Credits: Twitter

In the fifth Test against England which was postponed and will now take place in Birmingham in July, the 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batter Pant was chosen as the team’s vice-captain. Notably, Jasprit Bumrah was captaining India in that match while KL Rahul was sidelined with an injury and Rohit Sharma was eliminated after testing positive for Covid-19.

Rohit Sharma has been ruled out of the first Test against Bangladesh due to a thumb injury, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on December 11. KL Rahul will take over as captain, with Pujara serving as his deputy.

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Meanwhile, Kaif has termed the appointment of Pujara as vice-captain “shocking”.

“It’s a bit shocking for me because the last time we played Rishabh Pant was the vice-captain,” Kaif said while replying to a Hindustan Times query in an interaction organized by Sony Sports Network.

Someone has made a mistake in Rishabh Pant’s case– Mohammad Kaif

Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad Kaif. Image: Twitter

The 42-year-old further highlighted that Pujara was a member of the India XI in the rescheduled Test against England and still he was not handed the leadership responsibility.

“Pujara was there in that team (in England) so either you have made a mistake here or back there in England. Someone has made a mistake. Why is there a rush? Why such a hurry to make Pant the captain? He’s a newcomer finding his feet at the international level. He has won some fantastic matches I understand but he is still young. 

“You don’t make someone captain or vice-captain this early. Why this rush? I don’t understand. Why can’t someone just keep performing and keep winning matches? The priority should be to win matches for your team and not to be captain. We focus on players so much,” Kaif added.

Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh Pant | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah

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