“We will never take decisions based on the outside atmosphere” – Virat Kohli backs struggling Ajinkya Rahane

Team India captain Virat Kohli has offered support to underfire Ajinkya Rahane saying that no calls will be taken based on the outside noise. Although India registered their 14th consecutive series win on home soil but lean form of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara will keep the think tank guessing ahead of the South Africa series.

Rahane now averages 24.39 over his last 16 Tests, including one century in the Boxing Day Test nearly a year ago. With scores of 35 and 4 in the last Test, his career average has now dipped below 40 for the first time.

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As the noise continues to grow about Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the playing XI, Virat Kohli has stood by his teammate highlighting the former’s contribution in the past.

“I can’t judge Ajnkya’s form,” Kohli said. “Nobody can judge anybody’s form, for that matter. Because only an individual knows what part of his game he has to work on. But, as I have said in the past, it is important to back those players who have made impact performances in difficult situations and important Test matches in the past. We don’t entertain this kind of atmosphere in the team that a player starts worrying about ‘what next’ the moment he is under a little bit of pressure.”

The talismanic run-scorer added:

“Yes, we can’t expect this kind of balance from those on the outside where those who are singing praises will be asking for a player’s head in two months. We don’t react that way ever nor will we do it in the future because we know how much effort and hard work goes in for any person to get into a positive mental space, and we will support it. Be it Ajinkya or whoever. We will never take decisions based on the outside atmosphere.”

Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer, who made his debut in this series, has made a case for himself with significant performances. He finished as the second highest run-scorer, accumulating runs at 50.5 with a century and a fifty.

Virat Kohli asserted that having ample players for a position is a good headache to have to take Indian cricket forward.

 “Those are discussions we are going to have now with the selectors,” he said. “It is a good headache to have but you always want clarity in these things. And understand that it is always great to know exactly what you want to do before you head into a series like South Africa. Those things are very important to address, and we are going to have discussions straight away when we get to the hotel now,” Kohli concluded.

 

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