Indian Test captain Virat Kohli has defended Ajinkya Rahane after India’s draw with New Zealand in the first Test in Kanpur. Ajinkya Rahane was the stand-in skipper in that match in Kohli’s absence and despite taking a commanding position in the match going into the final day, India failed to capitalize on it.
Virat Kohli, who’s returning for the second Test in Mumbai, was asked whether he was frustrated by the team being denied a win in the first match. In the pre-match press conference, he backed Ajinkya Rahane’s tactical understanding and mentioned that he’s well aware of how to manage situations like those. Kohli also cited India’s fantastic victory against Australia earlier this year where Rahane led the side after the first Test to back his claims.
“I watched the game and I think we tried everything we could as a team. Obviously, everyone has a different way of approaching things. I probably would have been able to answer that if I was in that situation but I was not so I know that the team tried everything that they could and Jinx has always brought up great ideas to make sure that, you know, we put the opposition under pressure with strategy, with field placings and rotating the bowlers as well. A great example of that was in Australia as well when we played [there],” he said.
The 33-year-old also cited that Indian cricket team always focuses on improving and getting better regardless of who’s leading the them. Kohli also gave credit to the Blackcaps for grinding out a draw despite having to bat the last 10-12 overs with just a single wicket in hand.
“Sometimes when you are not able to pull off a result you also have to give credit to the opposition for batting out 10-12 overs in the end with the last wicket. It was a very good effort from them. So, we have to be realistic about the scenario, realistic about the situation.
“Obviously, you look to improve on things you still can and you find ways of winning and that’s been the essence of our team regardless of who’s been in charge. I think that has become the culture of this team and we’ll continue to look to find opportunities to put our team in a winning position whenever we can and sometimes it doesn’t happen and you have to accept that,” he concluded.