The recently concluded series between India and Australia opened up a plethora of debates and discussions on who India’s captain for Tests should be. Under usual skipper Virat Kohli, the side suffered a debacle in Adelaide during the first Test as they fell for just 36 runs in their second innings. Kohli then left for India on paternity leave and Ajinkya Rahane took over. Under the stand-in captain, India fashioned a remarkable comeback to secure a famous series win. For the upcoming series against England, Virat Kohli has been named the captain of the side.
In Australia, Rahane led from the front with his assured captaincy. He was astute with his field placements and rotation of bowlers. Even amidst raging injury concerns, Rahane kept calm in his man management skills. The 32-year-old wasn’t bad with his batting either as he was India’s only centurion in the series, scoring a match-winning hundred in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
‘I am floored with the way Rahane conjured magic’ – Bedi
Former Indian cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi wrote in The Indian Express today about Rahane’s captaincy and why he must replace Virat Kohli permanently as captain.
“Personally, I am floored with the way Rahane conjured magic from broken bodies around him. The way he handled his meagre resources reminds me of Tiger Pataudi, who throughout his captaincy tenure was woefully short of a well-rounded unit but his leadership alone gave Indian cricket fresh legs. It was Pataudi who defined an “Indianness” in our cricket. He infused in us a thrilling sense of being together in this ride,” Bedi wrote.
“Even to a critical eye, it was pleasing to see a captain who was unperturbed, unruffled and least demonstrative. What sealed my vote for him was his gesture at the end of the Test. Watching him hand over the glittering Border-Gavaskar Trophy to T Natarajan, a rookie on his first away tour, would have had the cricketing Gods looking down at him with kind eyes. This for me was pure and simple leadership at its honest best,” he added.
He then stated that for the batsman in Virat Kohli to shine, he will have to hand over captaincy to Rahane. “Does India need Virat Kohli the great batsman or Virat Kohli a mediocre captain in the long run? Providence has provided us with an instant option. Rahane can lead in Tests while Kohli and Rohit Sharma can share the duties in white-ball cricket. I am certain none of the selectors would want to own up this responsibility,” Bedi said.
“Maybe Kohli can offer to make an honourable way for Rahane to take over during the series against England at home. I can assure no bad blood would be caused when we ensure that the larger picture on the canvas is Indian cricket. If anything my sincere aim is to prolong Virat Kohli’s batting career for the country,” Bedi signed off.