Indian skipper Virat Kohli lashed out at a reporter for questioning Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane‘s impact as a batsman in the team. The 32-year-old wasn’t impressed with what was said about his deputy and defended him earnestly.
On day five, Ajinkya Rahane saw his off-stump rattled by England pacer James Anderson. The 38-year-old got the ball to reverse from a good length and found the gap between Rahane’s bat and pad.
This was yet another failure for Rahane, who has had a poor run of form in home Tests.
Nevertheless, in a post-match video conference, Kohli threw his weight behind Rahane. He stressed that the right-handed batter had delivered when the Indian team needed him to, giving the example of his Boxing Day Test hundred at the MCG.
“Look if you are trying to dig something out, you are not going to get anything because there is nothing. If you are talking about the MCG Test, he scored a hundred when the team wanted him the most,” Virat Kohli said.
Virat Kohli explained that Rahane’s dismissal in the first innings was more about England skipper Joe Root’s sensational catch. In this regard, the Indian captain added:
“Today’s innings you can put that aside. But in the first innings, he was looking to score a boundary. It was a brilliant catch by Joe that got rid of him. So if that goes for the boundary, he gets runs in the first innings and we are not having this conversation.”
Virat Kohli believes Ajinkya Rahane has made some significant contributions to the Indian team under testing circumstances. Thus, it was unfair to question his ability as a batsman.
Kohli stated that Rahane will be backed by the team management and will soon show what he is made of when the team needs him again.
“Ajinkya, along with Pujara, is our most important Test batsman and he will continue to be. We believe in his abilities. He is an impactful player,” Virat Kohli asserted.
Team India have their backs against the wall after a comprehensive loss in the first Test. However, Virat Kohli is certain that his men will come back hard at the opposition and give them a run for their money.
— ICC (@ICC) February 9, 2021
The second Test will also be played at Chepauk in Chennai and will get underway from Saturday, February 13.