‘Virat informed me he isn’t fit enough’, Rahane recalls captaining India in 2017 Dharamsala Test

Ajinkya Rahane got the opportunity to lead India after regular skipper Virat Kohli sustained a shoulder injury.

Ajinkya Rahane | IANSAjinkya Rahane has been Virat Kohli’s deputy in Test cricket for some years now. The Mumbai batsman has also got a couple of opportunities to lead the national side in the longest format and the first one came when Kohli sustained a shoulder injury in March 2017.

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In that Test match against Australia at Dharamsala, Rahane impressed one and all with his leadership qualities as he scripted a series-clinching eight-wicket victory for India.

Speaking in the latest episode of Deep Dasgupta’s chat show Cricketbaazi on ESPNCricinfo, Rahane recalled that Test and said it was a special occasion for him.

“Leading India was pretty special for me, particularly in that Test match, which was a crucial one (against Australia in 2017). I had never thought that I would be captaining the team. I was told that I’ll be informed on the eve of the match, maybe because of Virat’s fitness tests, if I’ll be leading the team in the next match,” Rahane stated.

“So I had no idea if I’ll be the captain in the next match. But then Virat informed that you’ll be leading because I’m not fit enough. Anil bhai [Kumble] was the coach then and he also told me that Virat can’t play so you’ll lead,” he added.

Rahane’s bowling changes and field placing earned him a lot of praise on his Test captaincy debut. India dismissed Australia for scores of 300 & 137 either side of 332 of their own in the first innings and then chased down an easy target of 106 runs to clinch the Test series 2-1.

“That moment was very special for me and I couldn’t believe that I would be leading the side. And the series was 1-1 then and to go and win it 2-1, in your first match as a captain was really special for me,” Rahane, who scored 46 and 38 not out across the two innings at Dharamsala, remarked.


By Salman Anjum - 13 Jul, 2020

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