“Virat Kohli was and will always be the captain of the Test team,” says Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane led India to series victory against Australia in Virat Kohli's absence.

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Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli

The debate over who India’s Test captain should be has been raging ever since vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane who was appointed as the stand-in captain after skipper Virat Kohli left for India on paternity leave, led India to series victory in Australia. Rahane led from the front with his captaincy, field placements and smart bowling changes, all of which played a crucial role in India’s famous victory.

Virat Kohli is now back in India’s squad for the upcoming series against England as captain as expected. But some former cricketers and fans have voiced out their opinions saying India would be better off with Rahane as captain and Kohli as a pure batsman, with the chief among being former Indian cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi. However, Rahane has now come forward and stated that there is no doubts over who the Test captain would be, in the future.

‘Me and Virat have always shared a good bonding’ – Rahane

Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane
Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane

Ajinkya Rahane spoke to PTI today about his relationship with Kohli and the captaincy debate. “Me and Virat have always shared a good bonding with each other. He has, time and again, praised my batting. Both of us played memorable knocks for our team in India and overseas conditions. It only helped that Virat comes at No. 4 and myself at No. 5 – we have had a lot of partnerships. We have always backed each other’s game. When we are at the crease, we discuss threadbare about opposition’s bowling. We caution each other whenever one of us plays a rash shot,” he said.

He then spoke about the raging debate in India about who the captain should be in the future saying, “Nothing changes. Virat was and will always be the captain of the Test team and I am his deputy. When he was absent it was my duty to lead the side and my responsibility to give my best for Team India’s success,”

He further spoke about Kohli’s attributes as a captain saying, “Virat is a sharp captain. He takes good on-field decisions. Whenever the spinners are in operation, he is banking on me and he believes that taking those catches at slips off [R] Ashwin and [Ravindra] Jadeja is one of my core competence areas. When you win a match or a series, it’s always a collective effort and not because of singular man’s contribution. It’s your team-mates who make you a good leader. Virat expects a lot from me and I try and ensure I do not let him down.”

Rahane then downplayed his key role as a captain in the series and said, “With regards to leadership, I can only say that it varies from person to person. A captain is as good as his team. When you win a match or a series, it’s always a collective effort and not because of singular man’s contribution. It’s your team-mates who make you a good leader. The complete credit of this series win belongs to my team.”

Rahane and Kohli will next be seen in action in the first Test against England in Chennai from February 5.

Also Read: India vs England: “He will show what he can do” – Bowling coach Bharat Arun says Kuldeep Yadav will play against England

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