In the wake of India’s monumental Test series victory in Australia, several quarters have opined that Ajinkya Rahane should be made the captain on a permanent basis. Under the captaincy of Ajinkya Rahane, India came from behind to win the four-match series 2-1. India had their back against the wall after losing the first Test during which they were bowled out for just 36 in the second innings.
After the game, regular skipper Virat Kohli returned home to attend the birth of his child and Ajinkya Rahane took charge of the team. Not many were giving him and his team a chance of challenging Australia let alone win the series. The spate of injuries only made things worse for Ajinkya Rahane and India.
However, the middle-order batsman defied all the odds and went on to lead India to a stunning series win. Following the series, several fans and experts including legendary spinner Bishan Singh Bedi have opined that Ajinkya Rahane should be made the captain of the Test team. But as far as Rahane himself is concerned, he has made it clear that the leader of the side remains Virat Kohli, for whom he is happy “filling in” when required.
“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,” Ajinkya Rahane told PTI, while on his way to Chennai for the England series.
He also opened up on his relationship with Kohli and stated that it has always been smooth.
“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,” said Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane was also asked about Kohli’s captaincy. In reply, the India vice-captain was all praise for his teammate, 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 said.