Shubham Pundir led J&K last year in white-ball tournaments and half of the Ranji Trophy but due to his constant failures with the bat, he was dropped from the team.
He was replaced by senior campaigner Shubham Khajuria as the skipper of the side. With new season approaching, the big question that is to be answered is: who should captain J&K this season and going forward?
Will it be Shubham Khajuria? The opening batter had a brilliant last white-ball season but he looked out of sorts in Ranji Trophy apart from one big innings.
He is a cool-headed individual who has the potential to lead the side but what J&K needs right now is a bit of authority from the skipper. Usually, coaches and the higher-ups look to have complete control over the team and it often leads to chaos.
When the captain doesn’t have control over who should be playing, he can rarely do anything on the field. J&K has recently seen very average leadership with some bizarre decisions taking place every now and then.
If not Khajuria, who? In recently-held one-day trial matches the three people leading the three teams were: Abdul Samad, Fazil Rashid and Henan Malik.
So, logically, one among the three should lead J&K this season, at least in the white-ball tournaments. And without a doubt, Abdul Samad wins the race here.
The young gun, being part of an IPL franchise for years now, has both the experience and expertise required for the role. Not just that, Samad brings the authority too. He won’t be convinced easily by outside powers and would have better control and authority in the team.
He shouldn’t just lead the team in Vijay Hazare and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy but in the Ranji Trophy too. His numbers for J&K across formats have been outstanding and the leadership role could add more responsibility to his shoulders.
Many might argue giving captaincy to an explosive batter like Samad might impact his game. However, from what we have seen of him, he is usually unbothered when it comes to his batting. He remains calm and doesn’t take too much pressure.
This is what is exactly required if you are leading a team. Hence Abdul Samad should easily be the captain for J&K across formats this season and going forward.
There might be a few points on why would experienced heads like Parvez Rasool or Ian Dev Singh not lead the side. Parvez has decided to step away from JKCA while Ian is 34 and probably in his last days of playing career.
A youngster leading the side is much-needed. It will bring both a fearless approach and a positive change in the team.