Stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane said Friday that it is a proud moment for him to captain India, adding that the job will be a mix of opportunities and responsibilities. Regular skipper Virat Kohli will not be available for the rest of the series as he is at home on paternity leave. Rahane, who has the experience of leading India on numerous occasions, said the focus is not on him, but on how well the team performs as a unit after a 1-0 defeat in the Test series. “It is a proud moment for me to be captain of India and of course it is also a great opportunity and responsibility. I don’t want to put pressure and I want to support my team,” Rahane said during a virtual press conference on the eve of the second. Christmas day.
“As a team we have to do well, so the focus is not on me, but on the team and how to do well in Australia – that’s what we’re focusing on,” he added.
Australia has always been known for sledding their opponents, but Rahane wants his players to focus on themselves without paying much attention to the hosts.
“Australians are very good at playing mind games. We just focus on ourselves, we will support ourselves as a team as a unit,” said Rahane.
Rahane, who was India’s third highest run scorer in the pink ball test, said he has learned to support his instincts from his past experience.
Rahane had led India to an eight-wicket win against Australia in the fourth Test at Dharamsala in 2017.
“From the 2017 Dharamsala test, I learned that supporting your instincts, supporting your methods and staying true to your style (is the right approach),” he said.
Meanwhile, India has nominated the playing XI for the Boxing Day test against Australia, which starts on Saturday. They made four changes to the team that played in the Adelaide Oval pink ball test.
Shubman Gill comes in for Prithvi Shaw, Ravindra Jadeja for Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant for Wriddhiman Saha and Mohammed Siraj for Mohammad Shami.
Team India XI: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj
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