If Virat Kohli is removed as captain, it would destroy the culture of the Indian team: Brad Hogg

Virat Kohli

Ajinkya Rahane (left) has been a reliable deputy to Virat Kohli.

Former Australian left-arm wrist-spinner Brad Hogg believes Virat Kohli must not be replaced as Team India’s Test skipper, despite stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane‘s brilliant leadership Down Under.

Despite talisman Virat Kohli‘s unavailability after the first Test and the visitors grappling with injury woes to a plethora of first-team players, Team India produced a comeback for the ages. The beleaguered visitors, under the inspired leadership of Ajinkya Rahane, beat Australia 2-1 in their own backyard to win the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Ajinkya Rahane was hailed for his brilliant captaincy, sparking a debate whether he should be handed over the reins of the team in the longest format of the game. However, in a video on his YouTube channel, Brad Hogg explained why Virat Kohli is irreplaceable as Team India’s Test captain, saying in this regard:

“He (Virat Kohli) bats better when he is the captain. I think if you change it, it would destroy the culture of that Indian team. It might affect Kohli’s batting. He wouldn’t want it to happen, but it will happen”.

The Indian team was given little chance of providing a semblance of competition in the series in the aftermath of their Adelaide debacle inside three days. However, Ajinkya Rahane found a way to get the best out of his players – most of whom were debutants – instilling a belief that the visitors could mount a strong comeback.

The 32-year-old Rahane is unbeaten five Tests as the Indian captain, winning four and drawing one. However, Brad Hogg feels Virat Kohli’s aggression and the energy he brings to the field when the chips are down is something special.

The 49-year-old feels Virat Kohli leads by example and for that reason, he should be persisted with as India’s Test captain.

“Yes Ajinkya Rahane has done a fantastic job in the last three Test matches in Australia. He is cool, calm, collective. He is quite decisive, and he doesn’t get agitated. He is a fantastic leader. But I will leave him as vice-captain because I think Virat Kohli leads from the front,” Brad Hogg asserted.

After his paternity leave, Virat Kohli will be available to captain the Indian team in the upcoming four-match Test series against England at home, which begins on February 5.

The Indian captain will look to help his team continue their winning momentum they gained from their historic win at the Gabba.

However, with quite a few first-team players likely to be fit again for the England series, it remains to be seen if the hosts continue to persist with some of the debutants who belied expectations in the series triumph Down Under.

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