India’s premier off-spinner, Ravichandran Ashwin feels that there isn’t much to separate between the captaincy of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. India won the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy – the Ajinkya Rahane-led side won 2 of the last three Tests after the regular captain, Virat Kohli left after the first Test match.
Rahane has led India in 5 Test, winning 4 and drawing 1. And since then, there have been talks and comparisons between the two captains. However, Ravichandran Ashwin is surprised at people always making comparisons; earlier between former captain, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, and now between Kohli and Rahane. The 33-year-old believes that apart from Kohli being more expressive than Rahane, they are very similar in their captaincy styles.
As quoted by The New Indian Express, Ravichandran Ashwin said, “Rahane has led India in about five Tests and Kohli much more and that’s the first difference. I am totally blown away by the kind of comparisons people like to make when it comes to captaincy.
“All along it was about MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli and their styles of leadership. People just want to pick on it and just talk about it because it makes the headlines.”
“Virat and Rahane have been captain and vice-captain for as long as I can remember now. They lend great balance to the team. I wouldn’t say there is a distinct difference in their style of captaincy. It’s just the people they are. Virat is more expressive, communicative, and in your face, while Jinks doesn’t do these three things. But the way they captain the side is pretty much similar.”
When the players know what to expect, things get a lot easier: Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin, who picked 12 wickets in the series against Australia, reckons that wasn’t any significant change once Kohli left after the Adelaide Test. He points out that Kohli and Rahane have been together in the leadership role for about 5 years and the team knows what to expect from Rahane, which makes it easier to for the players.
Ashwin made his Test debut in 2011 and has played under 4 captains – MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, and Ajinkya Rahane – he averages his best with the ball under Kohli amongst the four. He will be seen in action in the forthcoming home Test series against England after missing the Brisbane Test due to a back injury.
“As soon as Virat left, it was just an extension and nobody had to tell Jinks how things had to be operated and it was an automatic transition that happened. For me, it was an extension of what’s been happening in the last 5 years,” Ravichandran Ashwin added.
“We have played under Jinks in the Dharamshala Test (Against Oz in 2017) and then the Test against Afghanistan and we know what to expect. When the players know what to expect, things get a lot easier,” the off-spinner further said.