HomeBCCIIn Kohli's absence, Ajinkya Rahane set to lead India...

In Kohli’s absence, Ajinkya Rahane set to lead India against Afghanistan

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A lot many debates were spurred by Virat Kohli’s recent decision to focus on stint with Surrey over the one-off Afghanistan Test. Polarised opinions and viewpoints- did Kohli make the right choice, should he have focused on playing Afghanistan instead- rattled many brains. Yet, a question bugged fans and demanded an answer: in the absence of Virat Kohli, who would’ve led the team against Afghanistan?

Ajinkya Rahane- the man in charge in the absence of Kohli

Now, it seems, the answer has been found. Technically correct batsman and Test stablemate Ajinkya Rahane is all set to lead India in Virat’s absence. For those of us who know that Rahane is already the vice-captain of the Test and ODI set-up, the move sounds only logical and uncompromising in it’s ambition to give the Test side full thrust.
Cool and collected, Rahane as a leader and individual batsman is quite the opposite to the fiery and aggressive Virat Kohli. The prospect of seeing Rahane administer his troops- Ishant, Kumar, Ashwin (if he plays), Dhawan, Rohit and others will be brilliant.
Previously, Ajinkya Rahane has only played the part in makeshift captaincy appearances and hasn’t led the side in any series. Even as this is a one-off Test it will provide a glimpse into the mind of a quietly thinking cricketer.

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What will fans miss most?

Surely, while the great prospect of seeing a Virat square against arguably the best leg-spinner Rashid Khan is no longer a possibility, there are other perspectives to hang on to.
Rahane’s appointment as captain seems both an interesting decision and a particularly good choice specifically where his own career is concerned.

Here’s why the appointment as Indian captain may help Rahane?

While there’s hardly a doubt that the doggedly determined right-hander’s talent, of late Rahane’s Test runs, seem to have dried up. He didn’t particularly have a great SA tour where despite not playing in all 3 Tests, a single fifty was notched up. The Test captain’s role will give him a newfound reason to contribute, not least of which will be due to the big absence of Virat Kohli.

Other exciting prospects as Rahane leads India v Afghanistan

While the June Test is definitely a historic one for Afghanistan, who will in the event of playing India no longer be Test debutants, the contest will note how well have some of their players- Rashid Khan, Mujeeb and Mohammad Nabi- adapted on playing on Indian turfs.
Sub-continental pitches, true to their slow and turning nature may well extract something special from a side no stranger to spin brilliance.

This leaves the question as to what might be India’s expected eleven?

Before the expected squad is picked by the BCCI, which announced earlier today about holding a meeting in next few days regarding the Test squad, a great news. Cheteshwar Pujara, who completed his Yorkshire stint a few days back is expected to join in the playing eleven.
This, indeed, will be a litmus Test of Pujara’s own recent form, which hasn’t manifested in plenty of runs in his county stint.
Moreover, the mouth-watering prospect of squaring against someone like Rashid Khan will offer substantial evidence of just how strong Rahane and Pujara’s game is?
On the other hand, while Afghanistan will miss the ebullience of their wicketkeeping opening batsman Mohammad Shahzad, they will be bolstered by a strong bowling line-up having 3 players compete in the IPL.
But this is 5-day cricket. A world onto its own; a contest like none other.

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Dev Tyagi
Dev Tyagi
Dravid believer, admirer of - the square drive, Drew Barrymore, Germany, Finland, Electric Mobility, simplicity and the power of the written word! Absolutely admire contributing to KyroSports

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