Rahane gets Kohli support, Karun to sit out Test

Rahane gets Kohli support, Karun to sit out Test

India skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday confirmed that the returning Ajinkya Rahane will replace Karun Nair despite the Karnataka batsman having scored a triple century in his last outing.

Rahane, the middle-order mainstay for India over the last three years, sustained an avulsion fracture on his right index finger that ruled him out of the final two Tests against England. Young Nair, making his debut during that series, hammered an unbeaten 303 in the final Chennai Test.

However, with Rahane returning and the squad featuring three specialist openers, Nair will have to warm the bench as skipper Kohli threw his weight behind the Mumbaikar. “I feel one game doesn’t overshadow two years of hard work from another player. You need to understand what Jinks (Rahane) has done for the team for the past two years. He averages almost 50 in this format. He’s probably the most solid batsman in our team in the Test format. We will look at him in that point of view.

“Certainly Karun, stepping into his shoes, what he did was remarkable. Sealing his spot as far as the squad is concerned. But as I said, you can’t overlook two years of hard work from Ajinkya in just one Test match. He deserves to walk back into the team whenever he got fit,” said Kohli.

Coach Anil Kumble too had backed Rahane on Tuesday. “It is nice that Karun took the opportunity and did what he did in Chennai. It is fantastic for a youngster to come and score a triple hundred. We all know what Ajinkya has done for India. His performances have been phenomenal across conditions.”

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