Ian Chappell has recalled that he was mightly impressed with Ajinkya Rahane’s captaincy against Australia in the home Test at Dharamsala, hailing him as a positive and aggressive skipper. He also urged the Australian players to not be complacent in Virat Kohli’s absence from the Test series.
During India’s home series against Australia in 2017, Virat Kohli was ruled out of the deciding Test at Dharamsala with a shoulder injury. While Australia smelled victory in the absence of the aggressive skipper Kohli, his deputy Ajinkya Rahane did not let the visitors slip away and produced an impressive display as the stand-in skipper of the national team. Now in 2020, with Kohli’s absence from the last three Tests of the series, the onus would be once again on Rahane to do the job perfectly for the side.
Recalling the Mumbaikar's captaincy, former Australian player Ian Chappell has admitted that he was left mightly impressed with Rahane’s leadership, which he called ‘positive’ and ‘aggressive’ in equal measures. He also credited the right-hander for coming out positively and scoring runs against Pat Cummins, which put the game beyond Australia’s reach, as India eventually won the series 2-1.
“As far as captaincy is concerned, I saw Ajinkya Rahane captain in one Test match against Australia when Australia were in India a few years back and it was the deciding Test match. And I was very, very impressed with Rahane’s captaincy,” he said while speaking to Michael Holding on the West Indies great’s YouTube channel.
“I thought he was very positive, very aggressive. When the game was in the balance, he always took the aggressive option and he batted well at a time when India were probably going to win anyhow but things had got a little bit shaky. And he came in and took on Pat Cummins and took them home to victory,” he added.
While revealing that the home side would not be complacent in Kohli’s absence, he stated that the Indian skipper’s absence would allow the other Indian batsmen to grab their chances to feature in the playing XI.
“At least, they have got a very good replacement captain. And the other thing is if Australia, I don’t think they will do this, if Australia thinks that ‘Kohli is gone home and all we have to do is turn up’, if they think like that, it will be a big mistake. I don’t think they will be complacent,” Chappell added.
In Kohli’s absence, it was reported that Rohit Sharma was the front-runner to replace the Indian skipper. However, with the Mumbaikar being ruled out with an injury himself, it gives an opportunity for the likes of Shubman Gill and KL Rahul to make the position their own for the series.
“He [Kohli] will be a big loss but they have got some very good young batsmen. India, of all the international countries, is producing very good young batsmen and that’s been the case for a while now,” he said.