Kohli acknowledges Rahane's importance

‘No-one wanted Rahane in the Indian team’

Pranta Deb Emon
Published Date: 12 Jan 2018 | Update : 12 Jan 2018

Despite Ajinkya Rahane’s impressive performance in the overseas, the batsman was not selected to play in the 1st Test against South Africa. Kohli was amazed how ‘no one’ wanted Rahane in the squad before the 1st game and later started looking for him.

Kohli reportedly said, "It's funny how things change in a matter of weeks, or just about five days. Before the first Test, no one thought that he should be in the XI, and now suddenly people are looking at the other option. For us as a team, it's all about finding the right balance. If players fit in in the kind of balance we want to go with as a side, then they will fit in. We certainly don't go on opinions that are created outside, and 'talk of the town', and all those sort of things."

Kohli lauded Rahane and said, "He's a quality player, he's done well in South Africa. [In] all conditions, actually, away from home. He's probably been our most consistent and solid player away from home. I explained the reasons why Rohit [Sharma] started ahead of him. I'm not saying that Ajinkya cannot or will not start in this game. Possibilities are all open at the moment and we shall decide after practice."

The Men in Blue lost the 1st Test in the 3-match series by 72 runs. Regarding that game Kohli said, "We are very happy with the way the bowlers went about the business. The batting didn't come out well so I'm not worried on the bowling front at all. We have been in a very good space, and we believe we can get them out twice again in this game.

"You definitely need that to win Test matches but you also need a solid batting performance. Especially when you are playing away from home, you need that 60-70-80 extra runs compared to back home because there your bowlers will be stronger. But the way they showed their skill sets and their character in the first game, it motivated us as a batting group also to support them and play together as a unit and get some good results out there," he added.

"I don't think we need to panic because of collapses. People need to apply themselves much better. Whether we are playing five batsmen or six, you still need to apply yourself. It doesn't mean that if you are playing six batters, you can afford to go out and play loose shots. You still need to have a solid technique and go out there and be ready to face bowling spells which are going to be difficult. We need to embrace that" he concluded.

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