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Just after a few days of India's defeat to South Africa in the three-match Test series, Virat Kohli announced himself stepping down from the role of India's Test captain.

Virat Kohli had earlier announced the same for the T20 format before the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 and just before the tour of South Africa, it was confirmed that Rohit Sharma will be taking over both the T20 and ODI captaincy.

However, with the Test skipper spot also vacant now, it will be interesting to see the decision from India's selectors. Despite some options being the winner, let's have a look at the possible skippers of India in the longest format of the game.

KL Rahul

KL Rahul (Image Credits: BCCIofficla)

The last few years have been terrific for Rahul. He has risen through the ranks and cemented his spot in India's squad irrespective of the format.

His IPL stint with Punjab Kings as skipper didn't pan out the best in terms of achievements, but on a personal level, numerous occasions stuck in the minds of people that led them to idolize Rahul as India's skipper one day. Has the day arrived? Or he'll have to wait longer?

As far as records are concerned, KL Rahul led India and made his Test captaincy debut in International cricket in the second Test against South Africa at Johannesburg. The team might have failed to win the test match and seal the series, but once again, there were moments and phases were looking up to KL as India's skipper didn't seem odd or out of question.

KL scored a 50 in the first innings but failed to make a similar impact in the second, scoring just 8. As far as developments are concerned, all Rahul requires is more experience. He has already shown glimpses of maintaining his calm and taking over the pressure situations not in the most effective ways but still with ease.

Just like how Kohli took over the Test team in 2014, the selectors would be hoping to find a long-term solution and Rahul could be one, but for a later future.

Rishabh Pant 

Rishabh Pant Indian Test skipper
Rishabh Pant (Image Credits TheWeek)

Yes, Rishabh Pant. The same fingers were raised when Rishabh Pant was made the Delhi Capitals skipper. But his impact? We did see him moving away from his natural game after a year but in the initial phase as the DC skipper, Pant looked confident and kept playing in his offensive style.

His approach has often faced heat from ex-players and fans around the world. However, Pant's performances overseas have shown how good he can be.

With Pant on your side, India have always looked unpredictable and that's how you achieve unprecedented milestones, the win at Gabba being one of them.

Pant was also going great in the deciding Test against South Africa but unfortunately, no one else could let him continue until he was done. As things go ahead, Pant is still very young, younger than KL, who we discussed shortly before and so, he will have to wait until he reaches the pecking order.

However, with India, you never know. If he's selected, it won't be the first time a wicket-keeper would lead the Blues out of the blue!

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin India Test skipper
Ravichandran Ashwin (Image Credits: SkySports)

Following a similar path, the Indian Premier League became one of the reasons why Ashwin appears in the list of probable. How good has he been? Well, he's undoubted en route to becoming India's most successful spin bowler, but as heavy as this tag is, Ashwin has a good amount of work to do before he achieves it.

Leading India when he's already chasing records won't come easy but with Ashwin, you know it's possible. Ashwin has always been the kind of player that didn't need a direction.

He was intelligent enough to find his way through things and was brave enough to come forward to voice his opinions. The latter and the most recent part of his career is proof of how Ashwin has become more expressive when it comes to reacting, replying or taking control of decisions.

Despite being 35 years old, Ashwin showed that he is still fit to last in the sport, especially after he made a quick recovery in the last season of the IPL from an injury that looked worse in the beginning.

However, the fact that Ashwin doesn't tick the box of being a long-term solution, it'll be interesting to see how things pan out in the future.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma India Test skipper
Rohit Sharma (Image Credits: ICCCricket)

There's a reason why this man gets the last mention. Rohit Sharma's chance of becoming India's next Test skipper is higher than all the other contenders combined.

Some might say that Sharma isn't consistent enough or question his potential as an individual, there are no doubts about Sharma's capabilities as the Indian skipper.

What makes us say so? You know the answer, the IPL. The pressure levels may vary but Rohit Sharma has shown time and time again that he has the leadership qualities to lead India.

Yet to lead India in Tests, Rohit Sharma can bat well, can take charge of challenging situations, can go out of the box to try different things, and most importantly deliver with the entire team on his side.

Not that Kohli had issues but Rohit Sharma's calm and composed nature is perfect for the longest format of the game and make no mistake, you can see the heat when needed too.

India are in of their most glorious phases as a Test side and not many teams can face India at the same level in their background, let alone making an impact in India.

Some people have questioned India's tactics, many have questioned their approach, while opinions on Twitter come every minute something goes in India's game. But several legends of the game and even active players have accepted it openly that India are easily one of the most robust teams in the Test format currently.

It will be interesting to see how things go ahead as India's eye the ICC World Test Championship once again after missing out on it in the final. Stay tuned with Cricwizz for more updates.