Virat Kohli and Rahane
Virat Kohli and Rahane

Skipper Virat Kohli has come out in support of his deputy Ajinkya Rahane after the latter was criticised for the lack of runs from his bat in the last few innings.

Kohli backed Rahane

Asked about Rahane’s struggles with the bat, Virat Kohli said, “If you’re trying to dig something out, you’re not gonna get anything because there’s nothing. Ajinkya is, I’ve said this many a times in the past as well, along with (Cheteshwar) Pujara, he is our most important Test batsman and he’s gonna continue to be.

“We believe in his abilities, we’ve believed in his abilities for a long time now. He is an impact player. If you’re talking about the MCG Test, he stood up and scored a hundred when the team wanted it the most.

So, you can look at the number of innings and what happens from there on, the reality of the situation is we won the series in Australia. And, here there’s just one test, two innings. Yes, you can put today’s innings aside, in the first innings he wanted to score a boundary.

It was a brilliant catch by Joe (Root) that got rid of him, if that had gone for a boundary, we wouldn’t have been having this conversation,” he added, backing the middle-order batsman.

Since that 112-run knock at the MCG, Rahane has returned with scores of 27*, 22, 4, 37, 24, 1, and 0. While Rahane was the leader of the side in the last three Tests, Rahane the batsman has been struggling for a while now, irrespective of those odd hundreds in between several failures.

Virat Kohli Opens on Choosing Nadeem over Kuldeep

Before this game, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem was drafted into the side one day before the series when all-rounder Axar Patel injured himself after which many criticised the team’s call of preferring Nadeem over Kuldeep, who was originally part of the squad.

Shahbaz Nadeem
Shahbaz Nadeem

However, Nadeem didn’t prove to be effective enough as in the two innings he bowled 59 overs and gave away more than 200 runs and picked up just four wickets that too when the batsmen were trying to go after him in pursuit of a few quick runs.

Asked if the team regretted the decision of playing him ahead of Kuldeep, Virat denied it saying, “When you’re playing two off-spinners, Kuldeep becomes more or less a similar spinner, taking the ball away, so you need variety in the attack.

“We were quite clear on what we wanted to play, what combination we wanted to play. So, there are no regrets whatsoever on that decision,” the skipper added.

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