My relationship with Rahane is built on trust: Kohli

My relationship with Rahane is built on trust: Kohli

Kohli was asked about his equation with Rahane and whether that’ll change considering all the adulation that’s coming his deputy’s way

Skipper Virat Kohli (right) heaped praise on Ajinkya Rahane for leading India to a sensational series win in Australia in his absence. AFP FILE PHOTO

Ever since Ajinkya Rahane led the Indian team to a come-from-behind 2-1 series triumph against Australia, there has been a lot of comparison between his and regular skipper Virat Kohli’s captaincy styles. 

Back in the saddle after becoming the father of a baby girl, Kohli was asked about his equation with Rahane and whether that’ll change considering all the adulation that’s coming his deputy’s way. Kohli, looking relaxed, said’s his relationship with Rahane is built on trust and outside noises won’t rankle it. 

“Me and Jinks (Rahane’s nickname), we have always enjoyed batting with each other. It's quite evident on the field that we share mutual respect. There is bonding off the field also. We do chat a lot, stay in touch and it's a relation based on trust,” said Kohli in the pre-match press conference. 

“Not just Jinks and me, the camaraderie of the whole team is based on trust and all of us are working towards only one goal and that is to see India win. I would like to mention, he fulfilled his responsibility in Australia with flying colours. It was amazing to see him lead the team towards victory, which has always been our goal.”

Kohli also said he won’t think twice to seek advice from Rahane, a fine reader of the game. “He has always been someone who has had the capability and capacity to give inputs at different stages and we do have discussions on the field towards where the game is heading. I go and discuss a lot of things with him to get more clarity and perspective other than me focussing on team plans. That's how we work together. That's the massive reason for success of Indian team in Test format. That partnership will be the same as it has been, mindset for me, him and everyone remains to take Indian cricket forward.”

Kohli also confirmed that Rishabh Pant, who played two sensational back-to-back knocks in Australia, will be preferred over Wriddhiman Saha for this series. India normally tend to play Saha at home owing to his better keeping skills against spinners and Pant abroad because of the youngster’s ability to play match-winning knocks. 

“Yes, Rishabh will start and take the gloves tomorrow. He had impact performances recently and he is in a good space, and we want him to build on this along with improvement in all aspects of his game. We have backed him quite a lot and for good reason what we saw in Australia, what he can do with the bat and that brings in a lot of value to this team. He will be continued to be backed because he is an impact player and opposition will be wary of him.”

India have had various opening partnerships in recent times but Kohli said it’ll be Rohit Sharma and young Shubhman Gill unless someone gets injured. “We are looking forward to giving them all four Tests and give us good starts. The key to winning the Tests was how they batted in Australia. We are looking forward to more of that in this series."