Former India captain, Sunil Gavaskar opined that Ajinkya Rahane will go normally about his business despite having the responsibility of leading the side in the last three Test matches against Australia.
The much-anticipated 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 game in Sydney, and the last Test match at Australia’s fortress, Brisbane.
Regular captain, Virat Kohli will miss out on the last three Test matches as he will return to India to attend the birth of his first child with his wife and Bollywood actress, Anushka Sharma. He has been granted paternity leave by the BCCI and will lead the side till the first Test in Adelaide. Test vice-captain will fill in the leadership role for the next three Test matches.
India has won both the times he has led captained: Sunil Gavaskar
Sunil Gavaskar isn’t worried about the temporary change in the captaincy of the Indian team. Gavaskar pointed out that Rahane has captained India twice in the absence of Kohli. He led the team in the series decider against Australia in Dharamsala in 2017 and then versus Afghanistan in the following year.
India won both the matches and therefore, the former opener feels that there won’t be any major pressure on Rahane’s shoulders in the three Tests he will lead against Tim Paine’s side.
“There is no real pressure on Ajinkya Rahane, because both the times that he has led the team, he has won. He led against Australia at Dharamshala and India won. He led against Afghanistan and India won. So, as far as his captaincy is concerned, there is going to be no pressure,” Sunil Gavaskar told Star Sports.
Sunil Gavaskar, 71, reckons that Rahane as a batsman will be important for the team when Kohli leaves. The 1983 World Cup winner believes that Ajinkya Rahane along with senior batsman, Cheteshwar Pujara will be the key wickets against the Aussie bowlers and suggests that both the batters should look to bunt out the hardball to make it easier for the youngsters around them.
The 32-year-old scored a gritty hundred in the first practice game against Australia A. It will be a huge confidence booster for the right-hander after an underwhelming IPL for Delhi Capitals.
“He knows he is at the moment, only the stand-in captain for the 3 Test matches. So, I don’t think the fact about being a captain or carrying on as captain is going to be part of his thinking at all.
“He will do the job as honestly as he plays his cricket, which means, as a batsman, he will go out there and try and let Pujara try and grind the opposition in and play few more shots maybe,” the former opener, Sunil Gavaskar added.