Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, and Shardul Thakur arrive in Chennai for the England Tests

Ajinkya Rahane

Indian Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, opener Rohit Sharma, and medium-pacer Shardul Thakur reached Chennai on Tuesday for the upcoming Tests against England.

The Mumbai trio flew in from the city and headed to the hotel where both India and England will be put into a bio-bubble.

Captain Virat Kohli and other team members are scheduled to reach Chennai on Wednesday. England players Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Moeen Ali are already in the city.

England captain Joe Root and the rest of the squad for the first two Tests are likely to reach Chennai from Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Both India and England cricketers will have to undergo a six-day quarantine period as well as COVID-19 testing. According to an earlier report, BCCI made it clear that players who test COVID negative can only stay in the bio-bubble.

Indian squad’s local liaison officer was quoted as telling PTI:

“Members of the two teams will be put up at Hotel Leela Palace along with match officials. They will be under quarantine for six days and are likely to start practice from February 2.”

The first match of the four-Test series will be played in Chennai from February 5.

While on his way to Chennai, Ajinkya Rahane finally opened up on the captaincy debate. The 32-year-old, who led India to glory Down Under, stated in no uncertain terms that Virat Kohli is the captain and that he is his deputy.

Ajinkya Rahane was quoted by PTI assaying:

“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 further added that he shares a close bonding with the Indian captain, and that they always back each others’ game. The right-handed batsman said in this regard:

“He has time and again praised my batting. Both of us played memorable knocks for our team in India and overseas conditions. It only helps 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 games. When we are at the crease, we discuss threadbare about the opposition’s bowling. We caution each other whenever one of us plays a rash shot.”

In the wake of Ajinkya Rahane’s stupendous leadership skills in Australia, a raging debate kicked off over who should be India’s Test captain between him and Virat Kohli.

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