Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli. (Credits: Twitter)

Indian captain Virat Kohli gave his thoughts on the form of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, saying that the experience these two veteran batters have is priceless and that transitions will have to occur naturally. He also said that no player will be forced out of the team.

While the pair have been under fire for their inconsistency over the past two years, Pujara and Rahane’s quick-fire 111-run partnership was crucial to India challenging for a victory in the second Test. Like Virat Kohli not scoring a century in any international format since 2019, Pujara has also not scored a century in Tests since Sydney 2019.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Photo-Getty
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane. Photo-Getty

“I can’t pinpoint when we will have those conversations. Transitions happen naturally, it cannot be forced by individuals. The way Ajinkya and Pujara batted in the second innings, that experience is priceless for us, especially in these kinds of series. These guys have done the job in the past when you are playing overseas in tough conditions, these guys always step up with impact performances. We saw that in Australia as well and now in the last Test,” Kohli told reporters on Monday on the eve of the decisive third Test against South Africa.

Transitions Happen But They Happen Naturally And A Conversation Cannot Be Forced: Virat Kohli

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, along with Virat Kohli have been under immense pressure to score consistently. Rahane scored a century in the Melbourne Test win in 2020, while Pujara scored some crucial half-centuries in the same series in which India managed to win 2-1.

However, these two etched out two important partnerships thus far for India- one in the Lord’s Test win and one recently in Johannesburg which saved India a lot of blushes despite the 7-wicket loss. Kohli mentioned that a time will come when these players will be replaced, but the transitions will happen naturally and said that the things should unfold themselves.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane (Image Credit: Twitter)

“Transitions happen but they happen naturally and a conversation cannot be forced on it is what I have experienced and felt. When the transition has to happen, everyone knows in which direction the team is moving so we should leave the transition to unfold by itself and not necessarily force individuals in difficult situations,” said Kohli.

The third and final Test between South Africa and India will begin on January 11 in Newlands, Cape Town.

Also Read: IND V SA: Virat Kohli Short On Confidence, Says Sanjay Manjrekar Before Third Test