Ahead of the Test series against West Indies, Virat Kohli has thrown his support behind his under-pressure deputy Ajinkya Rahane. The India Test vice-captain has been underperforming with the bat for quite some time now. Not very long ago, Rahane was one of the batting mainstays of the Test team especially outside India.

However, he has looked like a pale shadow of his usual self in recent times. At the start of 2018, he was left out of the first two Tests on the South Africa tour. In the third Test, he played a gritty knock to help India win the Test. That performance helped him retain his place in the playing eleven for the entire England and Australia tours as well as the West Indies series at home.

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Virat Kohli with Ajinkya Rahane (Credits: Getty)

However, he just could not deliver as per expectations in those series. Rahane has not scored a century in his last 28 innings and has managed just five fifties during this lean phase while averaging around 25. However, Virat Kohli is in no mood to take a tough call on his teammate and has made it clear how important the Mumbai batsman is for the team.

“Jinks [Rahane] has been a solid player for us through and through and that’s always been our communication,” Kohli said.

“He is one of the most sorted guys. Really, really composed, reads the game well also, priceless fielder, we have all seen the impact he can make in Test cricket with his slip catching and everything. I think under pressure, he has performed really well. The guy averages 43 (40.55) in Test cricket, it’s not like he is in the early 30s. I don’t think we should jump the gun on someone like Jinks because he has done the job for you under pressure,” he added.

India, meanwhile, will play three ODIs, three T20Is and a couple of Tests against West Indies. The Test series will start India’s campaign in the inaugural Test Championship.

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