Peter Roebuck feels that VVS Laxman should be made India's vice-captain
so he can be groomed for the captaincy. This follows on from his column a week ago saying that India must start looking for Ganguly's successor
While he is right that Laxman seems to want the job and definitely has the class & ability to handle the situation, there're a couple of faults in his argument. Laxman isnt as young as Roebuck makes him out to be. He's just 2 years younger than the troika of Ganguly, Tendulkar & Dravid troika.
There is still debate on his presence in the Indian ODI side
. I agree that you can have separate captains for Tests and one-dayers, but increasingly that isnt an option teams are going in for. At some point of time, both will have to be captained by the same person, as Australia & England have demonstrated over the last year. He is definitely a superb batsman, but the problem, as Prem Panicker points out, is that he is unsuited for any position other than #3.
Over the last year his one-day game has improved by leaps and bounds and so he has made #3 his own. We must hope that he keeps the improvements going to become an essential member of the ODI side in much the same way Dravid has done over the last 4 years. Until 1999, you had to be really crazy (which I was!) to call for Dravid to be in the one-day side as well and completely ignore some horrible innings such as 1 run in 21 balls against Bangladesh in 1998
. But since the 1999 World Cup, no one has ever doubted his place in the side. Those who feel that Dravid only managed to keep his place in the ODI side from 2002 onwards because he was willing to keep wickets are welcome to feel so.
Once Laxman feels comfortable about his place in the side, he'd definitely be a reasonable choice for captain. But if India is picking a captain for the future, wouldnt Laxman be a stop-gap arrangement given that with his lesser athleticism, he may play international cricket for at most a couple of years after Ganguly, Tendulkar & Dravid [in my opinion, that will be the order in which they will retire] have hung up their boots? Shouldnt India be going in for a younger captain? Perhaps we ought to start giving more responsibility to Sehwag, Yuvraj & Pathan.