Future Indian Captain – Raina or Kohli?

Gautam Gambhir follows close friend and Delhi team-mate Virender Sehwag, with injury concerns of his own, which may just make him sit out of the West Indies tour and deprive him of the opportunity to further state his captaincy credentials in Indian colors. This would most likely pave way for Suresh Raina to get a second shot at captaincy after a poor first stint in Zimbabwe a couple of years ago, highlighted by two defeats to Zimbabwe and failure to qualify for the tri-series final. My question is: should it be that straight forward?

It is no secret that Virat Kohli has been earmarked for captaincy for quite a while now. He has prior experience, having led the India U-19 team to World Cup glory, and has stepped in admirably for Vettori as RCB skipper in this year’s IPL. He has grown into a mature and well rounded cricketer in the last couple of years, with high praises from the people who matter. You will be hard pressed to find anybody who disagrees that he should be groomed as the future Indian captain.

Yet, by a quirk of fate, Suresh Raina is one step ahead of him. Having made his debut for India much before Kohli, he also has the advantage of having played Test matches. So, the selectors have used logic in placing Raina in proper hierarchy, ahead of Kohli in the captaincy stakes.

Personally, I wish the selectors were bold enough to make Kohli the skipper if Gambhir is ruled out of the series. Yes, that would be unfair to Raina, as he has not done anything to make his case weak; on the other hand, he has an impressive resume, himself. Paralysed by doubt and insecurity during the Chappell era, he made his way back into the Indian team through sheer determination and is one of the few batsmen to have scored centuries in all three formats of the game, and was crucial in India’s victories in the quarters and semis of the recent World Cup. When a wicket falls, he is the first fielder to rush either the bowler or fielder (whoever is closer!) with a fierce hug. He is never short of ideas in the field, involving himself in decisions of bowling changes or field placements. I suppose if Kohli was not around, he would be the unanimous choice for the much sought after position in Indian cricket.

My only grouse is that Raina is not established in either Tests or ODIs right now. After a thrilling start to his Test career, he has tapered off, losing his position to Pujara in the process. In the ODIs, he was not even in the first choice playing XI during the league stages of the World Cup, playing his first game of the tournament in the quarterfinal against Australia. (It reminds me of the way Dhoni got his shot at captaincy. With Sehwag and Yuvraj having fitness/form issues, Dhoni grabbed the opportunity to establish himself as the long term option; and India have not looked back since then.) Raina should be spending the major part of the coming season, in developing himself as a quality Test player and making himself as a permanent fixture in the ODI team as well. While Kohli may not have made his Test debut yet, no one doubts that it is just a matter of time now. This is the perfect time to assess Kohli the captain, in a ODI series against the West Indies.

In the short run, it might not matter as Dhoni isn’t going anywhere and Gambhir will take over when he is unavailable; but it will be nice to have a clearer idea of who the FIC (Future Indian Captain) might be. Suresh Raina or Virat Kohli…..what’s your choice?

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79 comments

  1. I have a bit different thoughts…
    (Im a ardent Raina’s fan)

    Raina was replaced by Yusuf just because latter was in better form at that time.
    Raina came back strongly(in quarters & semis). This shows he can is mentally strong.

    Speaking of Virat and Raina, Virat is OK type of bowler, Raina is good bowler.
    When Raina played at No.3, with avg over 80 (2tons+86) , greater than Virat.
    He was moved to No.6 because of his power-hitting+strike rotating capablility. Virat can’t play aggresively (his t20 sr is 110).
    Virat is talented(no doubts), but there is no reason why Raina shouldn’t be given captaincy.

    A capt needs to be resilient (Dhoni,Raina)
    Dhoni is amazing capt desoite having no previous captaincy experience.

    At present Kohli is in dream form, Raina is OK. Raina has something spl that Sachin had.

    At 15, he was in state team.
    At 17, he scored 2 or 3 centuries in U19 WC.
    At 17, he was in Indian Team.
    He is nicknamed as ‘THE TALENT’ by his teammates.
    Dhoni is his best buddy.

    He is special, a bit different from others.

    1. You made some good points….the thing abt Raina is, that he has still not convinced me as a Test batsman of quality, especially on bouncy tracks…till then, I would slightly prefer VK over him… Still it is good to see that we have two high quality youngsters who are capable of taking over in the absence of big guns!

  2. Virat is technically better than Raina, I admit. I too have some doubts over Raina’s Test playing capability. But, role of Raina and Kohli are different, Virat will replace Dravid at No.3, Raina is ideal for No.5 or 6. The only -ve of Raina is his inability to play bouncers/bouncy pitches, I hope he would sort it out soon.

    Being a better player and a better captain is different.

    Raina has more reach on the cricket field (good batting, good bowling, good fielder). In difficult situations, he can take responsibility in any departments. He can understand his teammates(batsman, bowlers, fielders) much better. He is mentally more active and has a cool head. He has proved himself in crunch situation numerous times (Virat too).

    I Virat would have been a better option, MSD(+selectors) would have certainly opted for him(on WI tour). There must be some reason why they opted for Raina.

  3. batting at number 6 is not easy task. only raina is capable. he will score more centuries and 50s at number 3 than virat. the good qualities to become a captain is encourage his team mates. in that matter of encouragement raina is best in the world. he is good to bowl in critical position. it is time waste talking about fielding capabilities of raina. coming to bouncy pitch how long batsmen like raina will face this problem, it is easy to overcome this problem. on any pitches batting position is important. in bouncy piths es it is easy not easy to hit sixes or fours same time he should not defend the ball because his batting position 6 which is easy for kohli he can stand at crease at number 3 because low pressure. Raina future hope of indian cricket team not kohli. kohli jsut played half of the matches of raina. after one or two years it is better to talk about kohli. i think his performance graph will decrese.

  4. I will go on with Raina.. he is much talented that kohli.ICC had made a good decision that 2 make raina as captain.. as he is more friendly to the players .he can experience the thoughts of the other players.i will put the same point playing at number 3 is more easier than at 5 or 6.. while playing at 5 he has to go for all the delivires..while playing at 3 we can just rotate the strike after the mandatory powerplay is over.more over i would like that raina can promote himself up the order..he has some capabilites than raina..both are very good at field.. kohli is short tempered when comparing with raina..so RAINA is better than kohli..

  5. raina shud b made captn, and kohli vice-cptn.
    after a few months…………………………..kohli shud b made cptn.,and raina vice – cptn.
    and it shud go onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn………………………..

    isnt dis da BEST IDEA?

  6. i go with raina coz he is cool…..virat too but he is a bit angry man.raina is very friendly with everyone.so,he shud be made the future captan

  7. i go with mansi both are cool! love both! come on tracer no confusion! it will make them happy coz they are friends

  8. I GUESS NETHU IS RITE BUT ITS STUPID TO CHANGE THE CAPTAN EACH MONTH.ANYWAYS,,RAINA OR KOHLI BOTH ARE SURELY TALLENTED

    1. just bcuz kohli was left out of the england tour,it doesnt mean that dey have forgotten him completely. its just that he played bad during WI tour……………
      but i feel so sick cuz dey have taken losers like Sreesanth and Mukund and Laxman. 4 da england tour :(:(:(

      & anyway its not stupid 2 change da captn evry month,cuz whn u hv players lyk virat n raina ,u hv 2 compromise 🙂

      1. and one day or the other , dey will hv 2 take virat in the team,cuz the senior players r gonna retire smday.

  9. guyzzzzzzzzz…………….2DAY ITS MAHI’S BIRTHDAY!!! Wish Him Many Many Happy Returns Of The Day :):) he shud keep batting awesum n remain the best wicketkeeper of the world! GO CAPTAIN COOL! u rock \m/ ……….keep leading india lyk dis 4evr…………..n try all ur best 2 make insia evn more proud of u thn dey r nw! leave tht stupid wife of urs……….she doesnt evn noe wht cricket is 😛 India shud win evry WORLD CUP!! 3 CHEERS 4 DHONI……. v luvvvvvvvv him ❤ ❤

  10. yesterday was dhoni’s b’day.happy birthday mahi.you have to win every match coz we like u so…………….much.

  11. yeah! i know.now to the main topic! kohli or raina????
    a very big confusion……….ooffffff!
    i really think it is raina coz kohli has been the captain in under 19 so we have to give chance to raina tooo….
    he should also win right!!!!!!!
    anyways love both!!!

  12. nethra , u didnt evn wish dhoni happy b’day properly. shame on u ! 😦 i cant wait 4 da england tour……….just wish dey had taken kohli ! 😦 but dey will win da tour,cuz dey all r sooooo AWESUM!!

  13. come on i know mansi ! so it does’nt mean that i hate him !!!
    i know you are angry coz i supported raina not kohli ryt!!
    anyways i like kohli toooooooooo and raina toooooooooo much!!!!!!!!!!

  14. so it does’nt mean that i hate dhoni mansi!
    i know you are angry coz i supported raina and not kohli!!
    anyways i love both!!

  15. nethu,whats ur problem abt tracer’s real name???
    even i’m sad that kohli is not in eng tour……mansi and nethra stop fighting…

  16. guyz i told u to stop fighting……..and mansi stop tellin about srikant and vijay..they are also gud.i know u hate csk but dont insult the players….

    1. hello ……….yuvi is so much better thn vijay n srikant . its not abt CSK. n Nethra , evn i’m impatient to cm back 2 skool cuz i wanna kick u back.

      anywayz raina is playing awesum n kohli is playing bad during WI tour.

  17. u know something dhoni is cool 74 runs !!!!!!!!!!
    awesome……………………..
    sooooooo sad raina 50 and kohli 30…………
    and vijay 5….during wi tour……
    i am soooo sad0

  18. u know something dhoni is cool 74 runs !!!!!!!!!!
    awesome……………………..
    sooooooo sad raina 50 and kohli 30…………
    and vijay 5….during wi tour……
    i am soooo sad

  19. we should win the WI test match coz our team is playing awesome……….anyways im not sad abt anything.i am happy im gonna go to india…….wish i would meet one of my favourite cricketers

  20. mansi and nethra,dont think abt going to skool and kicking and fighting……….
    njoy ur 2 month holidays ……………..watch a lot of cricket….i mean the next england tour

    1. true!!!!
      i am very excited of 2 things one is eng tour and other going to india!!!!!
      manasi when r u going 2 india????????????????

  21. 30th july……….but the england tour is gonna b borrrrrrrriiiiiiiiinnnnggggggggggg… cuz dey hv 4 tests .
    yesterday’s test match was a draw. stupid people dey’ll play so horrible tht the umpires hv 2 draw da matches. raina made 8 runs , mukund 0 & dravid n laxman no idea. the umpires r so lame……..i wish i was the umpire, i’ll nvr draw any match. & i’ll let all the indian batsmen make 100 runs n all the WI batsmen 0 runs. hahahahaha………

    n i’m noticing 1 more thing , nbdy’s commenting on dis syt except us.
    i wish WORLD CUP was going on in india ryt nw . & the finals wud take place whn v were in india .
    WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW !!!!!!! i’m gonna miss the WI tour.

    did u guyz complete ur Holiday hw?

  22. i know i can understand ur feelings!!!!!!!!!
    u know v made a song come to school i will tell u …..
    n i am sorry i did not see the 30 july n me only 10 days more 20 july….

  23. wht is da song abt? lucky u ……… only 10 days left. try 2 meet any cricketer if u can, take his autograph n show it 2 me. haha just kidding. if any match is going on in chennai plz go n take pix.

    ya mansa its real fun 2 talk abt cricket lyk dis evryday. !!!! thank God dis syt is der………. no,thank cricket 😉

  24. half ryt……….u dint 1/4 of the name.

    evn u change ur name
    wht is dat song abt?????? tell meeeeeeeeee…………i’m dyin’ ovr here.

    did u c da TVS VK ad?

  25. wat song r u talking abt……..i am manasa…….its luv virat rox…
    no vll see that ad later….virats nick name is chiku

  26. whr did u get tht virat’s nickname is chiku???? its really cuteeeeeeeeeee!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
    & its suits him cuz he was sooooooooo cute whn he was 19. i wish he shaves……….he lux really bad whn he doesnt shave.

  27. a new person joined here in this syt!!!!!
    rekha………
    guyz u checked my name chimasa…
    faster dude…………….

  28. chiku, mahi n sanu……….its too easy!!! gud name 🙂 ya mansa…………raina’s cute n virat’s handsum n dey both r jst gggggggggrrrrrrrrrrr888888888888!!!! u guyz can join YOUTUBE n comment on cricketers videos…….jst try it ………..its superb!!! i commented on most of virat’s videos………check out my comments!! 🙂 😉 😉

  29. ofcourse mansa….
    after going to india we cant comment on the syt………………
    there is no internet at india in our home……………
    v cant go to internet cafe tooooo……………………………….
    tommorrow and day after tomorrow is our last days to comment…………………….
    i am sad and as well as happy…………………………………………..
    do not forget us

  30. r u mad??? 😛 hw can i forget ??? guyzzzz…….plz go 2 utube………plzzzzzz!!! sum of da comments r so horrible……..u completed ur hols hw so fast?? b happy chimasa ,u r goin’ 2 india!!

  31. u hv 2 sign in n comment dumbo. bye ……….happy journey……..gonna miss talking abt cricket……..:( i’m goin after 12 days
    take care n have fun
    AND DONT FORGET CRICKET!!! byeeeeeeeeee

  32. hey i think raina is the best captain for india
    because virat want more experience
    in 2019 worldcup raina would be a captain for india team
    later at 2019 world cup may be we can choose virat as our captain other ways
    want to give chances to them in some tours then we can find who is the best

  33. Definitely Raina, at least for the 2015 World Cup. Although Virat is in the form of his life, I would support Raina with the captaincy. I feel Raina is more suited for the captaincy, comparing him to Dhoni. He’s even MS Dhoni’s team-mate for CSK. As for Virat, I would compare him to Tendulkar, who is a class act but never really was meant to lead the team. I think Raina will get the thumbs-up, as he has already led India a few times successfully while Kohli has never, although he did lead and win the U-19 World Cup. Anyways, we have MS “captain cool” Dhoni for now, so no worries! 🙂

  34. raina has to b the future captain…he is too good…virat kohli is too arrogant..!raina is best in all the aspects of the field!batting ,bowling,fielding,lifting up the team spirit,!kohli is important for the team…but india needs a cool captain to handle all the criticism wen india loses…nd i think kohli wud not be able to handle those situations in a wise manner!

  35. Raina, the best player in India
    He also motivates his co-players.He always stood 1st in encouraging.he cheers up others
    Even though in critical position.He never loses smile on his face.He also changes the match expectations through his bowling attack.In my view,he is only 1 who manages the Indian team.My Vote is always for my raina.He is my life(I love u raina)

  36. Raina is the right captain to lead indian team.raina should bat at no 3 slot.kohli is not a captain he tried to improve his bating.all thoughts is kohli is a batsman.

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