Virat Defends Rahane, Decision to Play Nadeem Over Kuldeep

Virat Kohli defended Ajinkya Rahane when asked about his deputy’s lack of runs since the MCG Test.

Updated
Cricket
2 min read

India captain Virat Kohli on Tuesday was asked about the team’s decision to not give Kuldeep Yadav a game in Chennai after Axar Patel got injured on the eve of the match. Despite the injury, India did not pick the spinner who has been a part of the dressing room since the Australia tour but not been given any game time.

Shahbaaz Nadeem instead played the Chennai Test and picked four wickets in the two innings.

Virat, however, stood by the selection decision.

‘When you’re playing two off-spinners then Kuldeep more or less becomes a similar kind of spinner taking the ball away. So you need variety in the bowling attack. We were quite clear on what we wanted to play, what combination we wanted to play and there are no regrets, whatsoever, on that decision. Moving forward, we will think of combinations that bring us variety as a bowling attack and not be one dimensional where the ball is only turning away from the bat. These things are very important to understand,’ he said.

James Anderson of England celebrates the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane (Vice captain) of India during day five of the first test match between India and England.
James Anderson of England celebrates the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane (Vice captain) of India during day five of the first test match between India and England.
(Photo: BCCI)

Virat was also asked about his deputy Ajinkya Rahane’s performance in particular and the skipper wasn't too impressed.

‘If you are trying to dig something out, you’re not going to get anything because there is nothing. Ajinkya is – along with Pujara – our most important Test batsman and he is going to continue to be. We believe in his ability and we have done so for a long time now. He is an impact player,’ said Virat.

Rahane scored a century in the second Test at the MCG in Australia but after that failed to make a half century in the remaining two matches. During the Chennai Test, he got out on 1 in the first innings and then was castled by James Anderson on a duck on Day 5.

‘If you are talking about the MCG Test, he scored a hundred when the team wanted it most so you can look at the number of innings and what happens thereon but the reality of the situation is we won the series in Australia and here it’s just one test, two innings,’ he added.

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