Former Australia captain Ian Chappell backed Ajinkya Rahane to step up and lead the team India in the last 3 test matches after Virat Kohli’s departure. Kohli will play an only first Test match in Adelaide and will fly back to India to be with his wife Anushka Sharma who is going to give birth to their first child in January.
Chappell seemed very impressed with the way Ajinkya Rahane led India in a series-decider against a Steve Smith-led Australia in 2017 in India. Chappell said Rahane was not hesitant to take aggressive decisions and that his batting fired when he was leading the side in the absence of Kohli.
“… As far as captaincy is concerned, I saw Ajinkya Rahane captain in one Test match against Australia when Australia was in India a few years back and it was the deciding Test match. And I was very, very impressed with Rahane’s captaincy,” Ian Chappel told Michael Holding in the latter’s YouTube show.
“I thought he was very positive, very aggressive. When the game was in the balance, he always took the aggressive option and he batted well at a time when India was probably going to win anyhow but things had got a little bit shaky. And he came in and took on Pat Cummins and took them home to victory,” he added.
Further calling Ajinkya Rahane as a good replacement captain, Chappell warned the Australian side and said if they think ‘Kohli is gone home and all we have to do is turn up’, then it will be a biggest ‘mistake’ of Australia.
“At least, they have got a very good replacement captain. And the other thing is if Australia, I don’t think they will do this, if Australia thinks that ‘Kohli is gone home and all we have to do is turn up’, if they think like that, it will be a big mistake. I don’t think they will be complacent,” said Chappell.
India Can Deal With Kohli’s Absence: Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell while speaking on Kohli’s absence, said he will be a big loss for Indian side but at the same time, he also believes that team India has plenty of players who will make up for their skipper’s early departure.
“He [Kohli] will be a big loss but they have got some very good young batsmen. India, of all the international countries, is producing very good young batsmen and that’s been the case for a while now.
“And if the young blokes take the attitude: ‘alright, Kohli is gone, so this is a great opportunity for me to win myself a permanent place in the Indian side’, then it augurs well.
“Yeah, no one is going to totally replace Kohli but, as you know, in a team, when you lose a star player, everybody else has got to do that little bit extra and you can make up for it,” Chappell said.