Team India captain Virat Kohli has offered his support to underfire Ajinkya Rahane saying that continued criticism doesn’t bother the think tank because people on the outside don’t exactly know what’s going on in the team.
Rahane has been struggling with his form for quite some time now. He registered scores of 35 and 4 against New Zealand in Kanpur before missing the Mumbai Test with a hamstring injury. With Shreyas Iyer making a case for himself with a hundred on debut, the pressure has continued to mount on Ajinkya Rahane.
Most consecutive Tests with career average dropping after the Test (by Indians):
13* – V Kohli in 2020-21
12* – A Rahane in 2021
11 – C Pujara in 2013-14
10 – R Dravid in 2008
9 – M Jaisimha in 1968-71
9 – S Patil in 1983-84
Current streak of Kohli and Rahane are on top.#INDvNZ
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) December 5, 2021
But Virat Kohli has continued to downplay the criticisms, saying the management will continue to back Rahane and all other players. Addressing the press at the end of the match, Kohli stated:
“I cannot judge Ajinkya’s form. I think no one can judge it. The individual in question knows the areas of the game he needs to work on. We need to back players who have come up with impact performances for us in the past under difficult circumstances in key Test matches.”
“If there is some pressure on an individual and people start creating an environment wherein everyone is asking “what happens next?”, we don’t entertain that as a team. We cannot expect that balance outside. The same people who praise certain players want them out of the team after two months. We have never reacted like that and we never will because we know the amount of effort that goes into it (playing the game). We will support him, whether it is Ajinkya or someone else. We won’t take a decision based on the atmosphere outside.”
Ajinkya Rahane has so far scored 4795 runs at an average of 39.30 from 79 Tests.