Former India captain, Sunil Gavaskar believes that Ajinkya Rahane will lead the team well when skipper, Virat Kohli returns to India.
Australia will host India for six white-ball games and four Test matches. The 3-match ODI series commences on 27th November followed by 3 T20Is. The high-intensity Border-Gavaskar series will begin on 17th December with a day-night Test in Adelaide followed by the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, New Year’s Test in Sydney, and the last Test match in Australia’s fortress, Brisbane.
Regular captain, Virat Kohli will miss out on the last three Test matches as he will leave for home to attend the birth of his first child. KL Rahul is named as vice-captain in white-ball cricket, and Ajinkya Rahane is likely to lead the side in the last three Test matches.
India have won every time Virat wasn’t there: Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar opined that Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane being senior players will have to step up in Virat Kohli’s absence. He believes that captaincy will elevate Rahane’s batting as he will feel more secure and in control of the game as a leader.
Gavaskar said that the selectors are sure about Rahane will be the interim captain of the team- and not Rohit Sharma, as it was rumoured earlier. The Delhi Capitals opener had captained India in two Test matches when Kohli was unavailable, and India has won both the games.
Speaking to Sony Network, Sunil Gavaskar said, “It’s going to be tough for Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. Both these players have to bat out of their skin. Captaincy will actually help Rahane. He will feel a lot more secure and in control of situations. The selection committee is clear about who should lead in Virat’s absence and he has done well as a Test captain.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator observed that India have won most of their matches when Virat wasn’t there to lead. Under Rohit, the men in blue have won the Nidahas Trophy, and the Asia Cup, and under Rahane India have defeated Australia and Afghanistan in the whites.
The 71-year-old said that other batters in the team have the ability to raise their game as they understand that they have to compensate for the absence of arguably the best batsman in the world.
“If you actually have a look, India have won every time Virat wasn’t there, be it the Dharamshala Test against Australia, the Afghanistan Test, Nidahas Trophy, or the Asia Cup in 2018.
“Indian players do tend to raise their game when he is not around. They understand they have to make up for his absence,” Sunil Gavaskar was quoted by Times of India.