At the press conference ahead of the third Test in Indore, though, Rohit made it clear that removing Rahul as vice-captain did not mean anything. He stated, “All 17 players in the team has a chance. The team will back those who are talented. Stripping vice-captaincy does not mean anything big. He was made the vice-captain because maybe there was not many experienced players at that time. It is not a big thing.”
The 35-year-old also admitted that India will think of using the fourth Test in Ahmedabad as a preparation for the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023 final if they win the Indore Test. A victory in the third Test, starting Wednesday, March 1, will confirm India’s place in the WTC final, which will be played at The Oval from June 7 to 11.
Rohit conceded that things could be tricky since all-rounder Shardul Thakur, who recently got married, but is in plans for the WTC final, hasn’t bowled a lot of overs. He explained, "There is definitely a possibility of that. We've already spoken about it. We need to get the guys ready for it as well.
"The important one is Shardul Thakur, because he comes into that plan for us. I don't know how ready he is, knowing that he just got married. We don't know how many overs he has bowled. But yeah, that thought process is definitely there. If we do what we do here and we get the result we want, we might think of doing something different in Ahmedabad for sure," the 35-year-old added.
India reached the final of the inaugural WTC in 2021, but went down to New Zealand by eight wickets in Southampton.
On what reaching yet another final would mean for the team, Rohit said, "It will be a great achievement for us [to reach the WTC final], but we know that we need to cross that final hurdle, and for that we need to win the next game as well, so the focus is on this Test, how we can win this game, and not look too far ahead, because after this game we've got one more Test match to be played, and then after that there's two months of IPL.
"There's a lot of time to think about the final, but right now it's very important for us to focus on this one and see how we can turn it around and win this game as well, because in the last game we were put under pressure for sure, we can expect the same here as well, so we need to be ready for that,” he added.
While the third Test in Indore begins on Wednesday, the fourth Test will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad from March 9 to 13.
--By A Cricket Correspondent