Selectors doubtful, Kohli backs Rahane


India squad for SA: Selectors doubtful, Virat Kohli still backs Ajinkya Rahane for South Africa tour, team announcement tomorrow
India squad for SA: Selectors doubtful, Virat Kohli still backs Ajinkya Rahane for South Africa tour, team announcement tomorrow

India squad for SA: Ajinkya Rahane’s place in jeopardy – The next 24 hours will be crucial for Ajinkya Rahane. Not only his vice-captaincy in Test is on the line but his place in the side as well. With Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal all amongst runs beside Hanuma Vihari, Rahane’s selection will raise questions. However, Virat Kohli said his deputy has his backing although he will discuss the situation with head coach Rahul Dravid and selectors. Follow Live Updates on India Tour of South Africa on InsideSport.IN.

Exactly a year ago, things were different and Ajinkya Rahane was thought to be Virat Kohli’s successor after he led India to a famous win at the Gabba and win the series in Australia. But a year later, he is on the verge of going out of the team. A top BCCI official told InsideSport on Sunday that Ajinkya Rahane’s place is doubtful due to his string of poor performances and Rohit Sharma will take over as the vice-captain. However, he left the final decision to the team management and the selectors.

“It’s a difficult situation. He has been struggling but he has the backing of the team management. He has had an excellent career. His selection is completely up to the team management,” a BCCI official told InsideSport.

India squad for SA: Selectors doubtful, Virat Kohli still backs Ajinkya Rahane for SA tour, team announcement tomorrow

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However, Virat Kohli is following the path set by former India skipper and current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly. He backed Rahul Dravid in the ODIs and the current India coach ended up with over 10,000 runs in the format. He backed Anil Kumble on the Australia tour and he ended up becoming the highest wicket-taker on the tour.

India squad for SA: Selectors doubtful, Virat Kohli still backs Ajinkya Rahane for SA tour, team announcement tomorrow

India Tour of South Africa: Important decisions to be taken

  • BCCI is waiting for CSA’s response on the final itinerary and will take a call on the number of the players in the squad.
  • It is expected to send a larger squad comprising 25 players including net bowlers. A few are expected to join the squad from India A tour.
  • Team selection meeting will be done after the Mumbai Test.
  • Ajinkya Rahane’s position in the team will be discussed.
  • Rohit Sharma will be handed over vice-captaincy.
  • After Rahul Dravid’s request, there will be a week-long camp in Mumbai. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant and Shardul Thakur will join the camp.
  • The team is expected to leave on December 16. A final call will be taken after CSA’s confirmation on hard quarantine and change of venue.

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India squad for SA: Selectors doubtful, Virat Kohli still backs Ajinkya Rahane for SA tour, team announcement tomorrow

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On Monday, after the win against New Zealand in Mumbai, Kohli said even though there will be discussions regarding the middle-order, he backed Rahane.

“I cannot judge Ajinkya’s form. I think no one can judge it. The individual knows the areas of the game he needs to work hard. We need to back players who have come up with impact performances for us in the past under tough situations in key Test matches,” Virat Kohli said in the press conference after India’s win over New Zealand.

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“If there is some pressure on an individual and people start creating an environment wherein everyone is asking “what will happen next?”, we don’t entertain that as a Team. We cannot expect that balance outside. The same people who praise certain players want them out of the team after two months,” he added.

India squad for SA: Selectors doubtful, Virat Kohli still backs Ajinkya Rahane for SA tour, team announcement tomorrow

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However, Virat Kohli said that there will be discussions regarding the middle-order situation and it will be the most important discussion in the selection meeting.

“Those are discussions we are going to have now with the selectors. It is a good headache to have but you always want clarity in these things. And understand that it is always great to know exactly what you want to do before you head into a series like South Africa. Those things are very important to address, and we are going to have discussions straight away when we get to the hotel now,” Virat Kohli said.



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