Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting believes Virat Kohli will be India’s captain for “as long as he wants”. Kohli returned home after the first test against Australia. BCCI had granted paternity leave to the Indian skipper because he and his wife Anushka Sharma are expecting the birth of their first child. In the absence of Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane is acting as deputy captain in the ongoing second test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. India has a dominant position in the Boxing Day Test after a humiliating eight wicket defeat in the first Test at Adelaide Oval.
On stumps on day two, the visitors’ score was 277/5 and the team has taken a lead of 82 runs over Australia. The hosts might have scalped wickets of India’s top tier, but in the final session Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja showed persistence and determination to give India firm control of the match. Rahane and Jadeja have reached an unbeaten score of 104 runs for the sixth wicket.
“I think he has done a great job picking up the pieces from Adelaide with this team, leading very well in the field yesterday and you can see that he is now playing as a captain too,” said Ponting.
“He wants to play that captain’s knock; he wants to get a hundred when Virat is absent and do his best to get his country and his team back to this series. Virat will be captain of India for as long as he wants. But if he thinks so. he becomes an even better player if he thinks he is going to be an even better player, then that is a frightening thing for world cricket, ”he added.
Rahane and Jadeja are currently unbeaten at 104 and 40 respectively for India in the first innings and will resume the procedure for the visitors on day three of the second Test.
This is Rahane’s eighth Testton overseas and these are the first hundred as Team India captain. With this knock, Rahane also became the second Indian batsman to score a century in his first game as captain in Australia. Kohli was the first to achieve the feat in 2014 when he registered in Adelaide for a century.
Former World Cup-winning skipper praised Rahane’s captain and the way he took the team after the pink-ball Test debacle.
“I have no doubts at all about Kohli’s captaincy or credentials, I’m just saying that something special is needed to pick up the pieces and Rahane has been able to do that so far. I don’t think there will be any pressure from anywhere else for Kohli. to do that, but let’s wait. He’s almost played a (Cheteshwar) Pujara-esque innings, ”said Ponting.
“No thrills, he has hit very few boundaries, but he just supports his defense and tries to wear out the Australian bowlers. I think the Australians have not given him enough cover. I think they have been a little short and they “connected that coverage region,” he added.
On the first day of the second Test, India had bundled Australia 195 as Jasprit Bumrah scalped four wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets.
Topics mentioned in this article