“There’s no battle between me and him” – Ajinkya Rahane dismisses competition with Virat Kohli for India’s captaincy

Ajinkya Rahane led India in Virat Kohli's absence and led his side to the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane

Ever since Ajinkya Rahane successfully led India to series triumph in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia after skipper Virat Kohli’s departure, a plethora of discussions and debates have begun in cricketing circles about who India’s captain in Test matches should be. The opinion has been divided with a few stating that the Indian team is what it is at present due to Kohli while others have stated that Rahane’s elevation to captaincy would benefit both the team and Kohli.

Virat Kohli is now back in the Indian side after his paternity leave and will lead the side in England’s tour of India which is scheduled to begin on February 5 with the first Test at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Ajinkya Rahane will return to his original role of vice-captain in red ball cricket while Rohit Sharma will be the vice-captain in limited overs matches.

‘I did what Kohli used to do’ – Rahane

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane spoke in an interview with Aaj Tak today about the debate surrounding India’s captaincy in Test cricket. He said, “There is no competition between me and Virat Kohli over captaincy in Tests. When Virat is the captain, his aim is to bring team India to victory. When I became captain, I did what Virat Kohli used to do as captain.”

“We both just want to make Team India win. No matter who the captain is. There is no competition between us on such captaincy. Virat Kohli will once again take command of Team India against England and I will take the responsibility of the vice-captain. So we all want Team India to win, no matter who the captain is,” he added.

Rahane then spoke of two of the heroes of the final Test in Brisbane – Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara. He said, “Rishabh Pant was asked to just play your natural game and don’t take the tension of anything else. Play as you play freely.” Praising Pujara, Rahane said, “Pujara was very important for us in Sydney and Brisbane. He batted with full restraint and concentration and did not allow wickets to fall.”

The focus for Rahane will now shift to the first Test against England where he would look to get some runs as vice-captain.

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