Virat Kohli and co. will be under immense pressure before the 2nd Test, having suffered a rather huge loss in the 1st Test against South Africa at Cape Town.
Kohli was brought under the scanner, one, for his mode of dismissal in the first innings and two, for the keeping Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul out of the team, despite the duo boasting of brilliant overseas records.
The Indian skipper said that for him and the team management, current form had more to do with the team selection and thus they went in with ODI specialists Rohit and Dhawan instead of KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane’s exclusion was the most debated one, as the Mumbaikar has had great success in South Africa and is one of India’s most dependable batsman.
With the Indian batsman failing to apply themselves in testing conditions in Cape Town, fans all around the country started criticising Kohli for leaving out Rahane.
All the talk in the aftermath of that first Test performance has been how Rahane’s presence in that middle order could have bolstered India’s feeble batting performance.
In the pre match press conference today, Virat Kohli was obviously asked about Rahane and if he would be included in the XI.
Kohli was quick to point out how all the fans wanted Ajinkya Rahane dropped after that dismal home season, and now the same fans want him back because of Rohit’s failure in the 1st Test.
“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.
“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 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,” the Indian skipper added.
“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,” Kohli concluded.
The 2nd Test begins tomorrow at the Supersport park at Centurion.