New Delhi: With Mahendra Singh Dhoni's sudden retirement after the drawn third Test in Melbourne, Virat Kohli was elevated to the status of a full-time India captain in the longer format of the game.
Kohli's promotion has left the slot of India's Test vice-captain vacant and the BCCI has not yet named anybody to take that place.
So the question beckons, who should be India's Test vice-captain? More importantly, what criteria should the player fulfill to be second-in-command to Kohli?
Since Test cricket, especially overseas, has seen India struggle, new captain Kohli will need a pro-active vice-captain with a sharp cricketing brain. Kohli will need time to grow into his new role, which makes the role of vice-captain even more important.
India's new Test vice-captain should be a certainty in the side. That means, he should command a place in the team irrespective of a blip in form or playing conditions.
Also, this would keep Kohli on his toes and make sure there is no complacency creeping into his captaincy. The board and the selectors need to appoint a vice-captain who can replace Kohli if the need arises.
On current form, Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane appear to be the only candidates that fulfill the criteria mentioned above. Though, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has shown he is India's best bowler in the last couple of years, his experience would go against him.
Another cricketer who has displayed a sharp cricketing acumen is off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. But, he has not been a guaranteed starter in the team and has been in and out of the Test side.