After a disappointing defeat in the first Test match against South Africa, the management and the skipper Virat Kohli have been heavily criticized for not including Ajinkya Rahane who has the best average in overseas.
The Indian skipper preferred Rohit Sharma over Rahane who failed miserably in both the innings. He scored 11 and 10 runs in the Test match. But it doesn’t change the mind of Kohli and in the press conference when asked about Rahane the skipper said “no one wanted him in the XI.”
“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 XI, and now suddenly people are looking at the other option. For us as a team, it’s all about finding the right balance. If players fit in in the kind of balance we want to go 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.”
He added: “He’s a quality player, he’s done well in South Africa. In all conditions, actually, away from home. He’s probably been our most consistent and solid player away from home. I explained the reasons why Rohit started ahead of him. I’m 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.”
Kohli said on the eve of the second Test: “I don’t think we need to panic because of collapses. People need to apply themselves much better. 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 bowling spells which are going to be difficult. We need to embrace that.”