Rohit Sharma could debut as captain in the first Test vs Sri Lanka

Rohit Sharma was once thought to be a flop in the red-ball format. While he shone in the coloured versions, the dashing Mumbai batsman was deemed unfit for Test cricket due to technical and temperamental shortcomings.

However, just as cricket is a game of chance, so are the lives of those who participate in it. Despite making a dramatic entrance in the Test arena, Sharma was a tricky performer in the long format, with hundreds in the first two innings in 2013. Sharma's fortunes have smiled on him after more than eight years since making his Test debut, and he is now set to command India in the five-day format, not as a stand-in skipper but as a full-fledged skipper. In Tests, he will be India's 35th captain.

The 34-year-old batsman was spotted sweating it out at the nets at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Wednesday, March 2, ahead of India's first Test match against Sri Lanka. He captioned photos of himself batting and fielding with the phrase "About time."

Rohit Sharma could debut as skipper in the Sri Lanka Test
Sharma, who has taken over as India's full-time skipper in the 50 and 20-over forms, was named vice-captain for India's December-January tour of South Africa. However, he suffered an injury during the net sessions leading up to the tour and could not participate. After former captain Virat Kohli missed the second Test in Johannesburg due to injury, Sharma would have made his Test debut on that trip. KL Rahul led India to defeat in the Test and the three-match one-day international series.

After India lost the Test series to the Proteas 1-2 in disputed circumstances, Kohli stepped down as captain and was replaced by Sharma. However, the man will face a challenging task, considering his predecessor was India's most successful Test skipper.

Sharma, who has played 43 Tests and scored 3,047 runs at a fantastic average of roughly 47, has had a tremendous start to his captaincy in the limited-over formats and is expected to do so again in the red-ball game. His first Test as captain will be historic in its own right, as it will be Kohli's 100th.

On March 12, India will play Sri Lanka in another Test in Bangalore. Before the Tests, they defeated the islanders 3-0 in a three-match T20 international series.