Team India’s regular captain Virat Kohli opened up on Rahane leading team in his absence. Virat Kohli said that he has full faith in his fellow teammate and he feels that Rahane will do a fantastic job in his absence.
Kohli will play the first Test of the 4-Match Test series against Australia, starting from December 17 in Adelaide. He will fly back to Mumbai to be with his wife Anushka Sharma who is going to give birth to their first child in January. He already took the paternity leave for the same from BCCI.
In his absence in the last three Tests, Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team. Rahane has led India in two Tests – against Australia (2017) and Afghanistan (2018) – and won both games but those were played in India. This will be the first time Rahane will be leading in overseas conditions, even though he has led a few sessions in the past whenever Kohli has gone off the field.
But Kohli has expressed his faith and confidence in his deputy and spoke at length about it during a pre-match presser held via conference on the eve of the Adelaide Test.
“Firstly, Rahane and I have built mutual understanding over the years, we have had great partnerships batting together which is based on trust. Rahane has done a fantastic job in the two practice games, he seems to be very composed and he knows the strengths of our team and how we need to go.
“We already know the template we play with and how we want to go about things. We are on the same page and I am sure Rahane will do a tremendous job in my absence,” Kohli said.
Kohli further said that he will only focus to provide good captaincy and performance till the time he remains in Australia.
“Till the time I am here the focus remains to provide captaincy and leadership and performances as a player to the best of my abilities, then I am confident Rahane will do a fantastic job.
“I have said this in the past that this is the time for Rahane to step up and perform strongly as an individual, we are on the same (page) and the vision remains to put in consistent performances,” he added.
The first Test of the four-match series will be played under lights with pink balls at the Adelaide Oval. Meanwhile, India has already announced their playing XI for the first Test against Australia in Adelaide.
AUS vs IND: First Test Playing XI of Team India:
Virat Kohli (c), Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah