India vs Australia, 2nd Test: Kohli will remain captain as long as he wants to, says Ponting
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, on Sunday, heaped praise on Ajinkya Rahane, saying he has led India “very well in the field” before adding he does not believe there is any threat to Virat Kohli’s role in the Indian team
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, on Sunday, heaped praise on Ajinkya Rahane, saying he has led India "very well in the field" before adding he does not believe there is any threat to Virat Kohli's role in the Indian team.
After the humiliating loss in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval, Kohli returned home for the birth of his first child. In his absence, Rahane will be leading Team India in the remaining three Tests of the 2020-21 Border Gavaskar series. The Mumbai cricketer was hailed for his aggressive field placements and bowling changes that helped India bowl Australia out for 195.
On Day two of the ongoing Boxing Day Test, Rahane played a captain's knock as he registered his 12th Test hundred, which was his second on Australian soil. Interestingly, both his centuries in Australia have come at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). He promoted himself to No. 4 as he walked in to bat when India were struggling at 64 for 3. He went on to share a 52-run partnership with Hanuma Vihari before he put up 57 runs with Rishabh Pant for the fifth wicket.
Before the day's play ended on Sunday, Rahane had built an unbeaten partnership of 104 runs with Jadeja to take India to a respectable 277 for 5 with a lead of 82 runs.
"I think he's done a great job to pick up the pieces from Adelaide with this team, lead really well in the field yesterday and you can see he's playing like a captain now as well. He wants to play that captain's knock; he wants to get a hundred in Virat's absence and do the best thing he can to try and drag his country and his team back into this series," Ponting told cricket.com.au.
Even though Rahane ticked all the boxes in the first two days, Ponting says he is certain Kohli will continue to remain at the helm of the Indian team even at the end of the Border Gavaskar series.
"Virat will be captain of India as long as he wants to, but if he thinks standing down is going to make him an even better player, then that's a scary thing for world cricket. I'm not doubting Kohli's captaincy skills or credentials at all, I'm just saying it's going to take something special to pick up the pieces and Rahane's been able to do that so far. I don't think there'll be pressure from anywhere else for Kohli to do that but let's wait and see," Ponting added.
Earlier in the day, ICC named Kohli the captain of the Test Team of the Decade, which included stars such as Alastair Cook, Kumar Sangakkara, Kane Williamson, and Steve Smith.