Ajinkya Rahane has backed Virat Kohli to continue to lead India despite his own heroics Down Under.
Rahane guided India to a memorable 2-1 series success after Kohli had returned home to be with his pregnant wife.
The fact Rahane was able to lead such a depleted squad to victory in Australia has resulted in questions about if he should now get the captain’s role ahead of Virat.
He took over with India 1-0 in the series, Kohli heading home and a host of key injury issues. But a fine win in the second Test, a battling draw in the third and a magnificent rare victory at the Gabba meant India returned home with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
However, the 32-year-old batsman says the comeback win changes nothing between him and Kohli.
“Nothing changes. Virat was and will always be the captain of the Test team and I am his deputy.
“When he was absent it was my duty to lead the side and my responsibility to give my best for Team India's success,” Rahane told PTI.
“It's not the matter of merely being a captain. How you perform the captain's role is what's more important. So far I have been successful. Hopefully, in the future also, I will try to give these kinds of results for my team,” he added.
Rahane and Kolhi Support Each Other
Vice-skipper Rahane also underlined how their leadership support off the field has helped the team when they are in the middle together.
“Virat and I have always shared a good bonding with each other,” he said.
“He has time and again praised my batting. Both of us played memorable knocks for our team in India and overseas conditions.
“We have always backed each other's game. When we are at the crease, we discuss threadbare about the opposition's bowling. We caution each other whenever one of us plays a rash shot,” he added.
Discussing Kohli’s captaincy, Rahane said: “Virat is a sharp captain. He takes good on-field decisions. Whenever the spinners are in operation, he is banking on me and he believes that taking those catches at slips off (Ravichandran) Ashwin and (Ravindra) Jadeja is one of my core competence areas.”
“Virat expects a lot from me and I try and ensure not to let him down.”