We haven’t talked about Sachin Tendulkar’s vice-captaincy role on this blog. In the recent past, a few big-name past players have weighed into this issue. Kapil Dev thought it was an unwise move. Anshuman Gaekwad has weighed into the issue too and has hailed this a good move. Of course, Gaekwad was coach when Tendulkar was India captain.
Kapil Dev said he was opposed to Sachin Tendulkar being offered vice-captaincy. He indicated that the vice-captain should be a ‘grooming’ role for a future step up to captaincy. Given that scenario, he’d have preferred someone younger. Sane thoughts. Wise thoughts. However, he then proceeded to blow sanity away — like only he can — when he said the vice captaincy should have been offered to Sourav Ganguly! Last time I checked, Ganguly was (and still is) 360 days older than Tendulkar! Duh!
Let us remind ourselves that Virender Sehwag was vice-captain in the South African ODI series. Due to his shocking form with bat, he was replaced for the Tests by V. V. S. Laxman. After all, if a players’ place in the team itself is in question, pray why have him as the vice-captain?
The World Cup team has Sachin Tendulkar as vice-captain.
Firstly, as Gaekwad says, Dilip Vengsarkar should be commended for coaxing Tendulkar to take on the vice-captaincy role. This is a move that has Indian cricket’s interests at its core. Tendulkar has always been a loyal, passionate and unshakeable servant of Indian cricket. I do not believe that the vice-captaincy will not do much to either diminish or augment that aspect of his game. He will play as only Tendulkar can. He has always been a fiercely responsible and a thorougly committed player that has the team’s best interests at heart. Again, I do not believe that the vice-captaincy mantle will not do much to either diminish or augment that aspect of his game.
Yet, I think this is a good move because I think it sends a strong signal to the rest of the team. The combination of Dravid, the process-freak-and-workoholic and Tendulkar, the committed-passionate-wizard — both with over 300 games of ODI experience — will send a message to the rest of the team. Where one will drive the players to give off their best by dint of his own work-ethic and discipline the other will exhort to give off their best by dint of his passion, pride and commitment. And when needed, the two will scrum to come up with ways of dealing with tough situations as and when they crop up.