Funny, people who wanted Rahane out now want him in, says Kohli

CENTURION: India captain Virat Kohli on Friday took a dig at critics questioning Ajinkya Rahane's exclusion in the first Test against South Africa, stating that those who wanted his deputy's omission are now clamouring for his comeback.

"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 eleven and now suddenly people are looking at the other option," Kohli said on the eve of the second Test, here.

The captain's comment is interesting given that Rahane's selection in the playing XI had not been called into question even once.

In fact, given his stupendous overseas record, it came as quite a shocker when his name was missing from the final XI for the first Test which India lost by 72 runs in three playing days in Cape Town.

"For us as a team, it's all about finding the right balance. If players fit in the kind of balance we want to go in 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's sarcasm at the pre-match conference was not lost on anyone.

"He (Rahane) is a quality player. He has done well in South Africa, in all conditions actually away from home. He is probably been our most consistent and solid player away from home," the skipper said.

He repeated that Rohit Sharma was selected because of his current form.

"I explained the reasons why Rohit Sharma started ahead of him. I am 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."

While the skipper dropped hints that there might be changes in the playing XI without divulging any further.

"As far as the opening combination goes, we will decide today at the end of practice what is it that we are going to go within this game. We might do something different also but there is definitely no need to panic."

The wicket promises ample pace and bounce, but doesn't have as much green grass unlike the Newlands' wicket, reckons Kohli.

"It looks likely a really lively pitch. It is exactly what we expected it to be and we actually wanted it to be that way so that both teams are into the contest provided they play some good cricket. This pitch will again test us to play our best cricket and that is something that we are looking forward to do," he said.

Kohli urged his batsmen not get surprised by the bounce.

"We must not get surprised by the bounce here. We have to maintain composure when you get sudden change of bounce, which you experience in South Africa. Here the bounce can be steep from length also. You need to mentally tune yourself to these things and accept that it is going to be a major part of batting in South Africa."

The skipper feels that despite the mistakes committed, his batting unit is in much better shape for this game.

"I feel that definitely the batting order, through mistakes we committed in the first game and through the experience we gained in the first game, we are certainly in a much better shape to come at their bowling attack in this Test," he added.

Kohli, who is India's best batsman feels that there is no need to press the panic button yet.

"I don't think we need to panic because of collapses. 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 spells, which are going to be difficult. We need to embrace that," explained Kohli.

India's slip catching has been shoddy even during their victories at home over the past year but the skipper defended his teammates.

"I am not going to sit here and talk about the last one year. The last game was pretty good, apart from one dropped catch from Shikhar in the first innings, which we looked at as a team. We want to plug all those game."

"What's happened in the last year does not matter. What matters is what we are going to do from tomorrow onwards to try and win this Test match," Kohli put up a brave front as he signed off.


Related news

Don’t Miss

100 Left organisations will hold protest against Modi govt in state capitals
Farm income to double by 2022, says PM Modi
LIVE: Country is tired of what is happening under current government: Rahul
Xi re-elected as China's President after removal of term limit
WhatsApp introduced this new FEATURE that you always WANTED
Beant Singh Assassination: Quantum of sentence to be announced
Ankita Lokhande's Manikarnika FIRST look goes viral
12th passout and looking for a job? Apply here and get 85K/month
Congress Plenary: Highlight Modi's failures, plan path for next five years
Good news: Vacancies in BHEL; Salary will be Rs 50,000
SpiceJet Hyderabad-Bengaluru flight veers off runway
US is India's 2nd biggest arms supplier, Israel 3rd, says report
This country is India's 2nd biggest arms supplier: Report
Rs 2000 notes will NOT be discontinued, says government
Venkaiah Naidu urges MPs to not disrupt, Congress hits back
Top 5 songs of Daler Mehndi
Audi India to hike vehicle prices by this much
Microsoft offers $250,000 to identify chip bugs
Angry Karan Patel hits back at trolls
Six dead in Florida university footbridge collapse
Ex Karnataka DGP makes an insensitive statement about Nirbhaya's mom
Good news: Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ now available here
Revealed: Irrfan Khan is suffering from Neuro Endocrine tumour
Irrfan Khan diagnosed with this disease
Don't miss these THUNDER deals on smartphones
Why Andhra Pradesh wants a special status catgory from the center?
Center makes it clear to SC: Will not damage Ram Sethu for shipping channel project
LG lauds AAP's initiatives in education, healthcare
Kejriwal has 'murdered' AAP in Punjab: Sidhu
After conviction, Daler Mehndi granted bail by Patiala Court

Most Recent